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Home Environmental Flexible CDTE solar cells

Flexible CDTE solar cells

Description

High specific power is an important parameter for space solar cells. One approach to maximize the specific power is to substitute glass substrate with flexible thin substrate, such as polymer foils. This provides not only considerable weight reduction, but also flexibility which gives an opportunity to adapt solar panels to any kind of shape.

CdTe is the most suitable material for thin film solar cells (SC). Its band gap energy of 1.45 eV ensures an optimum adoption to the solar spectrum under terrestrial applications. Hence, the highest theoretical efficiency limit of over 29% is possible for singlejunction cells.

The CdS/CdTe layers for the flexible solar cells with record specific power can be deposited on Poly/ITO substrate by thermal vacuum evaporation method (fig 1).


Fig. 1 Vacuum chamber for thermal vacuum evaporation of CdTe and CdS films.

Polycrystalline CdTe thin film solar cells have shown long-term stable performance and high efficiency up to 16.5% under AM 1.5 illumination.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

  • Low cost if produced in large volumes (over 60MW/year - 1Euro/Wp).
  • Simple deposition technology makes it very promising for industrial application.
  • Considerable weight reduction due to use of only a few micrometers thick film layers on lightweight flexible substrate compared to glass substrate which represents over 98% of the total weight of solar cells.
  • The CdTe SCs have the highest stability under proton and electron irradiation compared to other photovoltaic devices, which makes CdTe cells very prospective for space application.

Table 1. Comparison of conventional SCs on glass substrate and flexible SCs on polyimide

Areas of Application

Flexible cells give much more possibilities for space application, integration in buildings, and can be applied in small cards, consumer electronics, solar cars and boats.


Fig. 2 CdTe solar cells on glass substrate (in grams)


Fig. 3 Flexible CdTe solar cells (in grams)

Stage of Development

One Ukrainian patent, and further international patent pending. Further development, licensing, and technology transfer is sought.

Contact Details

Contact persons: Associate Prof. Khrypunov Gennadiy S.
National Technical University “Kharkov State Polytechnic Institute”
Address: Frunze St., 21 , Kharkov , 61002, Ukraine
Tel: +380 542 971928 ;
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Prof. Nickolai Klyui
Address: 41, Prospect Nauki., Kyiv, Ukraine, 03028
Ph./fax (38044)-525-62-02
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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