ARKANSAS, Nov 09 (Future Headlines)- Colorado-based PV manufacturer Ascent Solar has achieved a significant milestone in the efficiency of its proprietary thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions based on Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology. Recent tests have demonstrated an efficiency of 17.55%, marking a notable improvement from the previous result of 15.5%.

Ascent Solar highlights that this achievement holds particular significance, as 17% efficiency is the minimum required by many satellite companies for space-based applications. The company attributes this enhanced efficiency to several key factors, including the incorporation of rubidium fluoride into the PV chemistry and improvements in the manufacturing process. These advancements are expected to result in a substantial increase in specific power in space conditions, rising from 1,900 watts per kilogram (W/kg) to 2,100 W/kg at air mass zero.

As part of its commitment to delivering high-performance PV solutions optimized for space environments, Ascent Solar is set to introduce a new CIGS module known as the “Titan panel.” This module is designed with a specific emphasis on space applications and is expected to be in high demand by satellite companies and other space-related projects. The Titan panel boasts a specific power of 2,100 W/kg, making it an ideal choice for space missions.

Key details about the Titan module include:

Optimized for Space: The Titan module is uniquely designed for space applications, ensuring it can thrive in the challenging conditions of the cosmos.

Compact and Lightweight: The module is approximately one square foot in size and weighs a mere 10 grams, making it highly efficient and easy to integrate into space equipment.

Targeted Output: The Titan module aims to deliver an impressive target output of 17 watts, making it suitable for powering various space-based devices and systems.

Versatility: It can be used individually or configured into an array, offering versatility to space missions with different power requirements.

Furthermore, Ascent Solar is continually innovating and enhancing its CIGS PV technology. An example of this is the incorporation of Zn (O, S), a thin film that can serve as a buffer layer in the solar cell. This addition is expected to further boost efficiency and power output by expanding interactions with light in the blue spectrum and mitigating degradation after prolonged exposure to light.

As a result of these technological advancements, Ascent Solar is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of the space industry, offering high-efficiency, lightweight, and durable PV solutions for satellite companies and space missions. The release of the Titan module is anticipated to meet the demand for reliable and efficient power generation in space applications, with initial orders expected to ship in the first quarter of 2024.

This achievement underscores the ongoing commitment of Ascent Solar to push the boundaries of solar technology and contribute to the success of space exploration and satellite ventures. With increasing emphasis on renewable energy sources in space, Ascent Solar’s innovations are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of space-based power generation.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White