Does thin-film spell the future for high-efficiency, low-cost solar? GE seems to think so. The company, who we just did a big interview with about smart grids, recently announced that it will be focusing large-scale research and development efforts on thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology in conjunction with PrimeStar Solar Inc.
GE is no stranger to PrimeStar; in fact, GE is a majority investor in the start up firm, which boasts 100 years combined technological expertise in thin-film solar. Add to that the full focus of all four of GE’s Global Research operations–including branches in Germany, China, India and the US–and it seems safe to say we can expect PrimeStar/GE thin film solar on the market the very near future. Research and development efforts will be focused on several key areas, with the goal of achieving best-in-class technology: device efficiency, reliability, production and installation costs and manufacturability.
This global effort has many facets. The team in Munich–at the heart of the global solar industry–will make use of world-class indoor and outdoor test facilities, while the team in China will be focused on raw materials. The Bangalore branch of the GE/PrimeStar collaboration will be focused on modeling capabilities that will inform advanced device design, and the US team–based in New York–will focus on module development.
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