DayStar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: DSTI), has achieved significant milestones on TerraFoil(TM) cells produced using each of its three production line processes. DayStar's TerraFoil(TM) cells have the potential to lower photovoltaic module costs below that of conventional silicon solar cells.
Recent results from tests conducted in DayStar's laboratory have shown solar cells produced from its Gen I line achieved 16.9 percent total area conversion efficiencies on (1.1 cm2) glass substrates and 15.7 percent on flexible metal substrates. Similar size TerraFoil(TM) cells made on their commercial-scale Gen II platform have achieved 13 percent efficiencies. The most significant achievement was the demonstration of a 13.5 percent efficiency from a larger area device (14 cm2) produced using processes being developed for their high-capacity Gen III(TM) production platform.
DayStar’s TerraFoil(TM) is a combination of Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) technology solar cells placed on flexible 1-5 mil stainless steel foil. DayStar is pursuing a vision of Gigawatt scale manufacturing by initially employing discrete solar cells on specialty metal substrates that will be manufactured by incrementally advanced production processes adapted from the computer hard-drive industry.
According to Daystar, achieving economical, widely accepted solar energy requires low cost, high throughput manufacturing of high performance solar cells, modules and systems that can meet the cost demand of less than $1/Wp at the system level. To achieve this benchmark cost, DayStar is pursuing a vision of gigawatt scale manufacturing.
DayStar is executing, what it believes is a low-risk, highly efficient incremental manufacturing development plan which places the emphasis on methodical, cost-controlled buildup of four manufacturing line generations. This can allow the Company to achieve cash flow early in the development cycle while proving key processes required to reach the goal of Gigawatt-scale production with Generation IV (and beyond) roll-to-roll manufacturing. Roll-to-Roll manufacturing is considered an essential manufacturing methodology for the highest throughput at the lowest cost. Each new manufacturing line builds on the knowledge gained from the previous line and substantially reduces the technology and cost risks associated with the technological challenges of developing roll-to-roll capability as the initial effort. Each succeeding generation is designed to demonstrate production on wider rolls running at higher speeds.
The Company presently operates two separate cell lines (Gen I and Gen II) in their Halfmoon, New York facility as a means of demonstrating product capability and low volume manufacturing techniques. Gen I is pilot scale production which demonstrated the feasibility of continuous Roll-to-Roll manufacturing and initial production samples and is still being used to improve manufacturing methods and to produce some low volume specialty products. Commercial scale production has just started on the Gen II line.
They are now concentrating the majority of their production program efforts and associated funding on bringing their higher volume and lower cost Gen IIITM line into commercial production. They project that this production line will be installed in their expanded manufacturing facility in New York in early 2007 which will have a target capacity of 10 MW per year. Additional production tools are planned to reach a minimum of 20 MW per year capacity by the end of 2007. Once efficacy of their Gen IIITM product and production has been proven, they will be in a position to replicate this platform and expand their total production capacity. In parallel with replication of this platform, they will develop an expanded platform to achieve greater economies of scale consistent with their mission. Their first target is to fill out their New York manufacturing facility with 100 MW of production capacity. Their goal is to establish a profitable manufacturing platform by 2008, expandable to Gigawatt (GW) scale.
The company is employing, in part, an established production technology known as “sputtering”. Sputtering is used extensively in the flat-panel display and computer hard-drive industries. Sputtering is easily scaled to large dimensions (on the order of 3-4 meters in some cases) and, when combined with DayStar’s other proprietary film deposition methodologies, enables a highly reproducible, and hence inexpensive, Photovoltaic Foil™ manufacturing process.
See previous posts for more information on Daystar.
DayStar Technologies Achieves Advanced Performance Milestones With Discrete CIGS Solar Cells on Metal Foils, Press release, June 15, 2006
Daystar Technologies, Halfmoon, NY