About PrimeStar Solar
Primestar Solar is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: High Quality, Low Cost, Polycrystalline CdS/CdTe Photovoltaic Cells. Their will develop new processes for producing lower cost and higher quality thin films from the compound semiconductors CdS and CdTe. These will be used to more inexpensively produce high performance photovoltaic modules that generate electricity from sunlight. Thin film CdTe-based photovoltaics currently require a post-deposition CdCl2 treatment and anneal to achieve reasonable performance. This anneal is known to increase the grain size in some films and increase the minority carrier lifetime in all CdTe films. The minority carrier lifetime is generally correlated with device efficiency in photovoltaic cells. However, the CdCl2 anneal cannot be optimized to maximize the minority carrier lifetime because attempts to do so have caused film delamination. Film delamination occurs due to strain induced during the anneal at the interface between the film and the glass substrate. This proposal seeks to develop a film deposition process that simultaneously avoids this problem and makes better quality films. This process will foster large grain growth, defect passivation, and grain boundary passivation while eliminating the need for a post-deposition CdCl2 treatment and anneal. This will result in higher efficiency solar cells and a streamlined production process. Commercially, solar photovoltaic modules are a silent, pollution free means to generate electricity from sunlight. Once the capital investment is made to install a photovoltaic electricity system, its operating cost is essentially zero because its "fuel", sunlight, is free. Photovoltaic electricity provides a means for homes to generate as much energy as they use over the course of a year. The production of photovoltaic modules has been increasing 20-30% annually for the past decade due to increases in efficiency and reductions in cost. However, for photovoltaics to achieve significant market penetration into mainstream electricity generation, this growth rate must be continued. This requires further increases in module efficiency and reductions in module cost. This research proposal addresses both of these issues. Successful development of this technology will ensure the marketplace success of CdTe photovoltaic modules, and pave the way for widespread stable-priced, sustainable, pollution-free electricity generation.
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Expert Collections containing PrimeStar Solar
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
PrimeStar Solar is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Renewable Energy.
This collection contains upstream and downstream solar companies, as well as those who manufacture and sell products that are powered by solar technology.
PrimeStar Solar Patents
PrimeStar Solar has filed 1 patent.
Thin film deposition, Semiconductor device fabrication, Solar cells, Coatings, Chemical processes
Thin film deposition, Semiconductor device fabrication, Solar cells, Coatings, Chemical processes
Latest PrimeStar Solar News
Oct 17, 2011
Share Save General Electric is sending its troops to Colorado to conquer the thin film solar panel business. The 38th state will play home to a new facility that leverages the supermodel-thin panel know-how of PrimeStar Solar, which GE scooped up back in 2008. In traditional solar panels, sand is refined into silicon ingots, sliced wafers of which are then placed in a frame. The thin film process eliminates this, sandwiching layers of semiconductors between panes of glass -- saving time, money and, most importantly, energy. The factory will open ahead of schedule in 2012 and is reportedly capable of producing a new panel every ten seconds. You can learn all of that and more in the press release we've got for you after the break. Show full PR text GE Plans to Build Largest U.S. Solar Factory in Colorado, Expand Solar Innovation in New York and Deliver Lighter, Larger, More Efficient Thin Film Solar Panels - Factory Will First Start Up in 2012-Faster than Anticipated - 355 Advanced Technology Jobs Created In Colorado, 100 in New York over the Next Three to Five Years - More Efficient, Larger and Lighter Panels Demonstrate GE's Solar Thin Film Innovation AURORA, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE (NYSE: GE) today announced plans to build its new solar panel factory in Aurora, Colorado. When completed, the advanced manufacturing facility will create 355 jobs in Colorado and will be larger than any existing solar panel factory in the country today. GE anticipates the new factory will first start up earlier than expected with the first panels coming off the line in 2012 with commercial availability in 2013. "Bringing 100 new high-tech jobs to the Capital Region without any taxpayer subsidy is a real victory for our upstate economy" GE will locate the factory in an existing building in Aurora, just east of Denver. This location, which also is in proximity to GE's existing solar center of excellence, enables an accelerated start-up schedule with production equipment installation beginning in January 2012. At capacity, the new factory will produce enough panels per year to power 80,000 homes and will be larger than 11 football fields. When complete, the new solar factory will highlight a $600 million investment in GE's solar business. Colorado already is home to GE Energy's thin film solar pilot line, where joint technology advancements from GE's Global Research Center and PrimeStar Solar have been validated and tested. GE completed the acquisition of PrimeStar earlier this year. "Working with our Colorado-based solar team, we were able to achieve record efficiencies in our solar panels in record time," said Victor Abate, vice president of GE's Renewable Energy business. "The Colorado location will allow us to deliver our technology roadmap faster and commercialize industry-leading panel efficiencies sooner. We also look forward to continuing to build our relationships with Colorado's local, state and federal officials who have been extremely helpful as we moved through the site selection process. " "This is great news for Colorado and further proof that our state is emerging as a center of innovation. GE's move to Aurora takes advantage of Colorado's clean energy resources and a collaborative business environment that is committed to helping the company succeed," said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. "We look forward to supporting GE as it fosters its technical innovation and research capabilities in Colorado. " "This is terrific news for Aurora, for Colorado and for solar, and it shows the tremendous potential renewable energy holds to create jobs and power our economy," said U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. "I'm confident that this is only the beginning-I look forward to working with GE and its partners to build its presence and create more good-paying jobs in our state. They've recognized what I've said for years: Colorado can lead the world in creating clean energy jobs and putting people to work. These innovative new jobs will allow us to build the products of the future while using Colorado's natural resources and talented workers. With the sun in the San Luis Valley, the wind on the Eastern Plains and the brain power at our top-notch colleges and universities, Colorado is positioned to lead the world in the global economic race. " "Colorado already is a leading center for innovation and the new energy economy with the most qualified high-skilled workers in the country," said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. "We welcome the increased presence of a renewable energy industry leader. GE's new plant will advance Colorado's profile in renewable energy, bring good-paying jobs and boost our state's economy. Today's announcement is a testament to the unity and commitment of Colorado's congressional delegation, Governor Hickenlooper, his economic development team and leaders at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines who worked together to pave the way for GE's decision. " "I am so proud GE is building the largest solar panel factory in the nation right here in the 7th Congressional District of Colorado. This plant will create over 350 jobs and reinforces Colorado's leading role in renewable energy. This solar technology was originally developed at NREL and further highlights how this world-class lab continues to partner with the private sector to create long-term jobs and bolster our nation's energy security. Making things here in Colorado and America ensures we will make it in America," stated U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter. In support of its expected growth in the solar space, GE also announced plans to create 100 new positions in New York. "We plan to add 100 high-tech jobs between our Renewable Energy Global Headquarters in Schenectady and GE's Global Research Center in Niskayuna," Abate said. "The Cuomo administration has demonstrated a change in business culture in New York state. New York is well positioned to continue to be part of GE's solar business growth. " "Bringing 100 new high-tech jobs to the Capital Region without any taxpayer subsidy is a real victory for our upstate economy," said New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. "With this announcement, we are once again proving that New York state is open for business and well positioned to create new economic opportunities across our state. We look forward to continuing to work with GE and support the growth of their solar business here in New York. " Solar panels produced in GE's new Colorado factory also will be more efficient, lighter weight and larger than conventional thin film panels. Higher efficiency is a key component of GE's commitment to offer advanced solar products while reducing the total cost of electricity for utilities and consumers. Lighter panels will facilitate easier installation and enable important applications including commercial rooftop. Larger-sized panels help to lower total system cost by reducing the amount of racking and electrical components required. Abate added, "We are building out our global solar business now because of our technology innovation and economics. We remain on track to deliver the most affordable solutions for our customers as we continuously improve this technology. " GE has dramatically grown its wind business through technology and scale since entering the space in 2002 and anticipates a similar trajectory for solar given recent technology breakthroughs. GE has more than 27 gigawatts of wind and solar resources installed around the world. In addition to thin film solar panels, GE offers power electronics and pre-designed utility-scale solar power plants for use in multi-megawatt applications. Power electronics are critical to bringing renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, into the mainstream, delivering economies of scale and providing stable connection to the grid. The recent acquisition of Converteam will add the company's energy conversion technologies to GE's solar offerings, further broadening GE's portfolio.
PrimeStar Solar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was PrimeStar Solar founded?
PrimeStar Solar was founded in 2006.
Where is PrimeStar Solar's headquarters?
PrimeStar Solar's headquarters is located at 13100 W 43rd Drive, Golden.
What is PrimeStar Solar's latest funding round?
PrimeStar Solar's latest funding round is Grant.
How much did PrimeStar Solar raise?
PrimeStar Solar raised a total of $100K.
Who are the investors of PrimeStar Solar?
Investors of PrimeStar Solar include National Science Foundation, Bridgeworks and GE Energy Financial Services.
Who are PrimeStar Solar's competitors?
Competitors of PrimeStar Solar include Accustrata, Tisol, Jem Enterprises, Meridian Deployment Corporation, M V Systems and 12 more.
Compare PrimeStar Solar to Competitors
Gratings Incorporated is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: High Efficiency Thin-film Photovoltaics on Low-cost Substrates by Layer Transfer. Their their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and their project will apply high aspect ratio, nm-scale, columnar, and crystalline Si structures as templates for high-quality growth of thin-film GaAs solar cells on low-cost flexible substrates. Sub-10-nm Si seed layers are expected to facilitate growth of low-defect density GaAs films. The aspect ratio of nm-scale structures also serve as sacrificial layers for removal of completed GaAs solar cell. Epitaxial growth and characterization of GaAs films on nm-scale Si structures will be carried out at the Center for High Technology at the University of New Mexico. Successful phase I STTR research will lead to commercialization of high (~ 20 %) efficient, flexible solar cells for applications in a wide range of terrestrial and space environments. Multiple substrate re-use and inherent large area processing capability of Si will result in significant cost reductions. High quality heteroepitaxial GaAs growth on Si has been a subject of intense research. Due to its direct bandgap, GaAs is attractive for a number of optoelectronics applications and its integration with Si-based microelectronics has been a cherished goal. The lattice and thermal expansion mismatches with Si make it difficult to grow good device quality layers. We have recently demonstrated as the Si seed dimension is reduced below 100 nm dimensions, the quality of heteroepitaxial growth increases rapidly. The nm-scale Si structures are formed using low-cost, large area methods based on conventional integrated circuit processing methods. Successful research effort will lead to reduction in PV generation costs, and enhanced applicability of thin-film PV in terrestrial and space environments because in contrast with competing thin-film solar cells, GaAs thin-film solar cells will not suffer from light-induced performance degradation.
Q1 Nanosystems Corp is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Surface Engineering Processes of Au Nanostructures Array. Their project will investigate the feasibility of engineering surface treatments of nanowires in a nanostructure array. The project will explore smoothing and roughening surfaces for different applications using electrochemical treatments. This project will grow nanowire arrays using a patterned mask that create highly ordered and perfectly oriented nanowires of controlled dimensions, which conventional methods dont allow. This research will demonstrate consistently controllable pre-treatments of nanostructures and nanostructured arrays suitable for a variety of high-precision devices, like solar cells or sensors. Techniques to control and characterize surface properties of gold (Au) nanowire array obtained by template synthesis are the focus of this proposal. This project will use nanoimprinting as a cost-effective technology that enables tailored fabrication of nanostructures. This project will examine two surface engineering processes never before applied to nanostructures. These surface treatments are based on restricting surface treatments to the top-most atomic layers of nanoscale structures. Techniques to control and verify the quality of surfaces and interfaces are especially important when subsequent layers are extremely thin, as is the case with solar cells, the intended application. Results lay the foundation for creating economical and consistently high-precision nanostructure array templates and arrays. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be arrays of nanostructures of precise dimensions and surface quality; although this project has targeted solar cells, this technology has broad applicability in nanoelectronics and nanofabrication. Nanostructured devices, rather than bulk materials, are the key to realizing economical, reliable, high-performance solar cells. Results will be arrays of discrete structures but the same technique are applicable to circuitry, sensors, optical applications, etc. This research is a key step in establishing a new low-cost, high-performance photovoltaic cell and enables new capabilities and performance in sensing devices.
Anteos is a company that received a SBIR Phase II grant for a project entitled: Relief-Free Infrared Diffractive Optics Based on Semiconductor Materials. Their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) and their project will develop a new generation of relief-free thin-plate components of diffractive optics operating in the infrared region of spectrum. The diffractive optics employs volume phase holographic structures, which are optically recorded in semiconductor materials transparent at the infrared wavelengths using proprietary process of photo-modification for producing dramatic change of the material refractive index under illumination with low intensity light. Phase I of this project proved feasibility of the proposed concept by demonstrating photo modification of ZnSe infrared material and fabricating the first model components. The developed technology can be immediately applied to fabrication of diffractive optics, volume phase holographic gratings, and phase retardation plates for wavelengths up to 1.9 m, as well as antireflection layers for wavelengths up to 8 m. In Phase II project the technology will be optimized and applied to fabrication of the prototype components of infrared diffractive optics operating at longer wavelengths, including the important wavelength of CO2 laser 10.6 m and windows of atmospheric transparency 3-5 and 8-12 m. The developed photo-modification process is highly adaptable and creates a rich technology platform for fabrication of a broad range of products for a large variety of markets. Successful implementation of this technology will result in a new generation of high efficiency relief-free infrared diffractive optics and sub-wavelength components, including diffraction gratings, beam splitters, beam shapers, semiconductor materials with artificial birefringence, phase retardation plates and wave plates. The relief-free components of infrared diffractive optics based on semiconductor materials are capable to withstand high light intensities and perform complicated light management functions. Another important application is the fabrication of highly stable anti-reflection (AR) layers on infrared semiconductor optics. The market for infrared diffractive optics includes defense and airspace industry, laser industry, spectral devices, sensors and detectors, night vision optics, industrial process control, material processing, cutting and welding, environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics and surgery. Anteos is a company that received a SBIR Phase II grant for a project entitled: High-Efficiency Nanocomposite Photovoltaics and Solar Cells. Their project is focused on development of an innovative technology for fabrication of high-efficiency thin film nanocomposite photovoltaic materials and solar cells taking advantage of the recently discovered effect of carrier multiplication in semiconductor nanocrystals. The proposed concept employs smart design of the solar cells providing fast and effective spatial separation of electrons and holes photo-generated in the nanocrystals. The proposed reach nanotechnology platform solves the challenging problem of electrical communications with nanoscale objects, such as nanocrystals, nanorods, nanowires, nanotubes, etc. It can be employed for development of many other nanocomposite optoelectronic devices having numerous commercial and military applications. If successful the development of new generation of high-efficiency photovoltaic materials and solar cells based on the demonstrated technology will have broad impact on the entire solar energy industry resulting in considerable energy savings and environmental protection. The technology has great commercialization potential and niche market. The proposed all-inorganic, high-efficiency, thin film, flexible nanostructured photovoltaic materials and solar cells, which can operate in extreme environment conditions and offer significant mass and volume savings, are ideally suitable for numerous applications, including power generating residential rooftops, power supplies for utility grid, emergency signals and telephones, water pumps, activate switches, battery chargers, residential and commercial lighting, etc.
Isosceles is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Full Spectrum Conjugated Polymers for Highly Efficient Organic Photovoltaics. Their their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and their project will demonstrate the feasibility of forming full spectrum highly efficient polymer solar cells from newly designed conjugated and potentially variable bandgap polymers that harvest visible through infrared light. The novel materials will be forged by incorporating Silole and donor-acceptor-donor moieties into the backbone and are expected to increase light harvesting and carrier mobility, and hence short circuit current output potentially by a factor of three over the state of the art. The key innovations of this work will also optimize energy levels to reduce voltage loss and further optimization of device structure and film morphology is expected improve fill factor. The primary objective of phase I is to determine the feasibility of forging full spectrum and high carrier mobility conjugated polymers that achieve highly efficient solar conversion. An ancillary goal of this work is arrive at an understanding of photophysical processes and device physics that will lead to optimal device fabrication during phase II. The environmental, societal and economic impacts of this technology are enormously broad. The ensuing abrupt drop in energy costs stemming from full spectrum harvesting promises to deliver stability and urgently needed relief to today's volatile oil based global economy. While photovoltaic (PV) production is already the fastest growing source of energy across the globe, the planned efforts of this STTR project are expected to disruptively reduce the projected cost of photovoltaic production in 2010 by a factor of 3. At a forecasted production cost of $0.70 per Watt, this research will demonstrate a technology that is competitive with the cost of electricity that is produced from fossil fuels. This technology will provide clean and cost competitive energy for home and industrial power, vehicle propulsion, consumer electronics, remote sensing, security, and an endless list of existing applications that currently rely on energy from fossil fuel.
Jem Enterprises is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Tin(II) Sulfide Photovoltaics. Their project aims to develop photovoltaic devices based on tin (II) sulfide (SnS). The properties of SnS, including bandgaps, carrier density and mobility, chemical and thermal stability, and metallurgical properties, promise the possibility to achieve relatively high conversion efficiency given state-of-art process control and device design. In this project, close space sublimation (CSS) technique, a thin film fabrication method proven for low cost and high manufacturability, will be used to synthesize SnS. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to produce photovoltaic devices based on low-cost and environmentally-friendly materials. There is no doubt that solar electricity has attracted a lot of attention in recent years as an alternative and renewable energy source. However, most of the current solar cell technologies have one or more of the following issues that, (1) raw materials are not abundantly available; (2) toxic materials are used; (3) overall cost is high. This project will address these issues by developing photovoltaic devices using SnS, a semiconductor material that can be supplied on a massive scale and at low recovery costs.
M V Systems is a company that received a SBIR Phase II grant for a project entitled: Fabrication of Low-bandgap Nano-crystalline SiGeC Thin Films Using the Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) Technique. Their their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 project is to develop thin film tandem solar cells, comprising of nanocrystalline silicon and silicon carbon (nc-Si and nc-Si:C) absorber materials, with a conversion efficiency of ~20%. The phase I project successfully developed one of the key components, i.e. intrinsic nc-Si:C with a band gap, Eg, of ~ 1.5 eV and with good opto-electronic properties. This key material will be used initially in phase II to fabricate cells in a single junction configuration with an efficiency goal of ~10%. Previously, developed "device quality" nc-Si materials, with Eg ~1.1eV, were used to produce solar cells with efficiency ~8%. Integrating the two devices in a tandem junction configuration is forecast to yield efficiencies of ~18%. Further improvement in the tandem junction device efficiency,to ~20%, may be achieved via the use of buffer layers at the p/i or i/n interfaces and by increasing the grain size which would boost the open circuit voltage, Voc. Higher efficiency thin film tandem solar cells will be critical to achieving the low costs necessary to achieve widespread adoption of photovoltaic energy generating systems. M V Systems is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Fabrication of low-bandgap nano-crystalline SiGeC thin films using the Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) technique. Their project will develop nanocrystalline SiGeC thin films with an optical bandgap (Eg) in the range of 1.6-1.8 eV, and enhanced absorption characteristics, leading to low-cost, high-efficiency (>20%) photovoltaic devices. Previous attempts at improving the photovoltaic efficiency have not been consistent and successful. The proposed approach uses plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique to deposit these films, which allows greater control of the process by being able to manipulate the plasma and electron temperatures to control the ion density in the plasma, with an independent control of the process parameters. This flexibility does not exist in the currently used techniques. With the proposed technique, stable and consistent films of SiGeC can be deposited on the desired substrate at moderate temperatures. If successfully developed, this technique could provide higher efficiency solar cells for the alternative energy market. The goal of highly stable films, high deposition efficiency and process scalability for large-scale manufacturing can only be achieved if the basic process can be proven. The broader impacts of this research will be in the low-cost photovoltaic (PV) devices for power generation market. If successfully completed, this research could lead to a strong partnership between solar cell manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, leading to a potentially lucrative photovoltaics market. Currently, electricity generated with available PV devices is 3-4 times more expensive as the conventional electricity. The selected materials (Si, Ge and C) for the thin film are abundantly available, which can significantly reduce the raw materials costs. A large body of basic knowledge of the requirements of solar electricity for the competitive market already exists, which makes the development of the process with a realistic performance target easy to achieve. The main challenge for achieving this goal lies in being able to control the deposition process to assure a stable and robust process, as the previous work has not been able to achieve consistent results. The initial target of producing a triple-junction thin-film solar cell is a worthy first product demonstration, which will prove the efficacy of the proposed technique, and attract third-party funding with little difficulty.
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