Highly Efficient Solar Cells
|Project Duration and Cost:
- ATP funding
Solar, Inc. cost-share amount: $1.3M
|Status Report of the Completed Project:
Solar, Inc. was formed in 1994, incorporating core technology
developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make
crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules—solar
cells. However, the starting material, crystalline silicon
is extremely expensive, and the process to convert them
into cells wastes nearly half the material. Solar energy,
one of the truly renewable energy sources, has not been
widely developed because of the high
cost to manufacture the solar cells. In 1997, Evergreen Solar,
Inc. proposed revolutionary techniques to lower the cost of solar
cell manufacturing, but as a three-year old company with limited
resources, it could not devote significant resources to a high-risk
research effort without significant financial danger.
Thus, ATP partnered with Evergreen Solar, Inc. by providing
the cost-share to help lower the risk of this research effort
that had immense potential national benefits.
|Technical and Economic Impacts
Inc. successfully translated the NIST Advanced Technology Program
(ATP) award into the following technical and commercial impacts:
the ATP project, Evergreen Solor, Inc. developed
a new technique, dubbed the String Ribbon process,
that can yield twice as many solar cells per pound
of silicon as conventional methods, and 10 times
a result of the ATP Project, Evergreen Solor, Inc.,
doubled its manufacturing capacity in the last year.
factory in Marlboro, Massachusetts has increased
its installed capacity from 3 to 6 Megawatts.
Solar has over 150 employees today (from just
3 in 1994).
June 2003, Evergreen Solar, Inc. won the 2003 Environmental
Award from Worcester Business Journal.
Worcester Business Journal is pleased to
present this award to Evergreen Solar, Inc.,
for making a market in green energy," said
Steve D'Agostino, Executive Editor of the Journal. "Formed
in 1994, literally in a garage, Evergreen Solar,
Inc., had its first product on the market with
a new technology within only three years of start-up—a
record for the solar industry that still stands
today. They are among five companies we're honoring
for devoting their time, resources, and passion
to preserving and protecting the environment."
Electric Power Association, June 5, 2003.
Date created: June
August 21, 2006