WASHINGTON HelioVolt Corp. jointly published experimental results on Monday (Oct. 31) it said confirm predictions made in January about the performance of copper indium gallium selenide-based (CIGS) photovoltaics.
HelioVolt (Austin, Texas), a four-year-old developer of thin-film photovoltaic coatings, said CEO Billy Stanbery's model, also known as the "Intra-Absorber Junction," provides a basic understanding of physics of CIGS thin films. The company further claimed that the model was an advance toward commercialization of the technology for solar energy production.
CIGS photovoltaics have traditionally lagged behind
silicon in terms of research and investment despite much lower materials costs. Although its high-performance characteristics are evident in both
small-area cells and large-area modules, the company said advanced design and commercialization of CIGS photovoltaics have been hampered by a lack of fundamental understanding of the material.
HelioVolt said a key prediction of Stanbery's model was confirmed in research jointly published with the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory. The model asserts that CIGS performance is attributed to a process called "spontaneous nanostructuring" by which the
material in the CIGS absorber layer arranges itself at the atomic level for optimum photovoltaic efficiency.
HelioVolt closed an $8 million Series A venture funding round in June and moved into a new facility in Austin in September.