Quantum Solar Power is developing a revolutionary solar cell technology, which will help reduce the application of rare elements by the solar power industry.
Thin-film photovoltaics, though not as efficient as silicon PV, are being rapidly tapped into by the solar cell markets because of their lower manufacturing costs. Only nanometers thick, the thin-film photovoltaics are slender layers of PV material implanted on a substrate. Leading thin-film devices are based upon CIGS (Copper indium gallium selenide) and CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) technologies that employ rare elements such as indium, tellurium and gallium, which are critical to the production of thin-film photovoltaics but are globally very scarce.
Ten terawatts of electricity is consumed globally. However, with the limited resources of the rare elements, it will not be possible to replace power generated by fossil fuels by scaling the production of the thin-film PV solar power. Quantum is of the opinion that the Next Generation Device (NGD) technology can provide cost-effective solar cells with higher efficiency, without tapping into rare elements.
Dr. Andras Pattantyus-Abraham, the chief technology officer of Quantum, is of the opinion that Quantum’s patent-pending technology will enable photovoltaics to scale limitlessly to the terawatt-scale, which cannot be possible with continued dependence and limited source of rare elements. This has been achieved by eliminating the semiconductor layer as the main absorber of photons. Research shows that indium will be available for less than10 years. Additionally, electronics like the flat panel LCD TV also employs thin-film PV. CEO of Quantum, Daryl Ehrmantraut stated that the barrier between fossil fuels and solar power can finally be broken.