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  • PV partnership in Arizona

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2009
Anne L. Fischer, Senior Editor,

A partnership between graduate-level engineering students and a solar energy business is working on advancing the efficiency of photovoltaics.

In New Mexico, Advent Solar Inc. of Albuquerque has found a home within SkySong, Arizona State University’s business incubator in Scottsdale. At SkySong, alongside ASU engineering students, the company’s own engineers are working on Advent Solar’s Ventura technology, which puts an emitter wrap-through back-contact cell into a monolithic module assembly. The module uses low-cost manufacturing techniques from the semiconductor industry, noted Peter Green, president and CEO of Advent Solar. The cell-to-module architecture means that the function of a single cell now can be addressed. Green explained, “If one cell is shaded or impacted, we can address it at the individual cell level.”

As part of a business-university partnership, a solar technology engineer performs a quality control check on silicon designed for Advent Solar Inc.’s Ventura technology, which is being developed at Arizona State University’s SkySong business incubator.

The team is developing the module and the software control, which will monitor its function without human interface.

Green is confident in his partnership with ASU. “They’re quite a sustainability engine,” he said, noting that the university offers what was the nation’s first degree program in sustainability.

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