A California maker of photovoltaic cells has developed a process that makes the solar energy catchers wafer thin, while also trimming the production costs significantly.
XsunX, Inc. has announced the development of a fully-functional CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium di Selenide) thin-film solar device. I caught up with XsunX Chief Operating Officer Joe Grimes, who told me that they have pioneered a hybrid solar cell technology that adapts manufacturing processes from the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) industry to produce these CIGS solar cells on 5-inch “pseudo squares.” He says the thin-film portion of the solar cell market is currently only about 15 percent, but with its thin profile makes the technology very attractive to the industry.
“If you compared the width of a thin-cell to a traditional silicon cell, the silicon cell would be like a phone book thick, and thin-cell would be one page of that phone book.”
That saves weight and material and lends itself to automation in its production, cutting those costs by as much as 30 percent. Those savings helps solar energy become more competitive as an energy source.
He says they hope to have the technology ready to bring to market as early as this year.
The plan is to make XsunX’s solar cells available to solar module manufacturers through joint ventures with these manufacturers.
Grimes adds that they are an American company that is tapping the skills of the people already in the U.S. semi-conductor industry, creating domestic fuel and jobs.
You can hear my entire conversation with Joe here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/domesticfuel/JoeGrimes1.mp3]