United Solar Ovonic LLC (Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.) announced that it has secured a patent for a nano-crystal deposition method. Using this technology, the company has achieved a 12% conversion efficiency with a large-area thin film solar photovolt.
“This is yet another confirmation of the unique and innovative technological processes that United Solar is committed to developing, now and into the future,” said Mark Morelli, the president and CEO of United Solar parent company Energy Conversion Devices.
“The proprietary technology covered in this patent will enable us to achieve our 12% aperture-area conversion efficiency in 2012, as outlined in our technology roadmap."
12% efficiency verified by NREL
The patent for "Method for depositing high-quality microcrystalline semiconductor materials" was awarded to Subhendu Guha, Jeff Yang and Baojie Yan for United Solar.
In January 2011 United Solar announced that the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory had conducted independent testing and confirmed the 12% efficiency of a .04 square meter encapsulated cell created using the technology. This is the highest efficiency NREL has verified to date for a thin film PV cell.
The record-breaking PV cell created using this technology is a triple-junction cell which incorporates nano-crystalline silicon layers on a flexible stainless steel substrate.
United Solar states that it has been awarded nearly 70 U.S. patents in its 25-year history.