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Home > News > IBM adds thin-film process to burgeoning cleantech business

June 16th, 2008

IBM adds thin-film process to burgeoning cleantech business

Abstract:
Big Blue has been on a cleantech tear of late. Starting with a touchy-feely virtual world it released for Earth Day in April, the company has made a succession of announcements: A technology for cooling concentrating solar arrays, a new line of modular, energy-efficient data-centers, and the latest, its entrance into the thin-film solar cell market.

Joining with Japanese semiconductor company Tokyo Ohka Kogyo, IBM will be working on thin-film cadmium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) cells, the same technology that Nanosolar, Miasole, Heliovolt and several other startups use. However, IBM has come out of the gate claiming its cells will be both cheaper and better than competing offerings that are headed to the market.

IBM told Reuters it plans to make cells with a 15 percent efficiency, about 50% higher than most CIGs cells and about even with the dominant silicon-based technologies. However, it says it will produce them for under $1 per watt, a symbolic price barrier that no manufacturer has yet breached. CNET has details on the chemical evaporation manufacturing process the company plans to use.

If IBM can meet its goals, its cells will be superior, in terms of the all-important cost-efficiency metric, to any other cells on the market, able to operate effectively in either municipal power plants or on the roofs of houses and businesses. It plans on having the technology ready to license out to manufacturers within 2-3 years.

Source:
thestandard.com

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