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Delta Develops 35% Efficiency Concentrating Solar Cell Receiver Assembly

Delta Electronics, a worldwide leader in energy technology, today announced that it has successfully completed the development of a certified and cost effective assembly process for the manufacturing of concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) modules, a new and exciting solar cell technology that boasts greater than 35% efficiency. Collaborated with Spectrolab, who originally developed the underlying technology, Delta aims to enable wide availability of CPV modules by its advanced assembly process and bring about a superior alternative to the burgeoning solar power industry.

Spectrolab, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, is the world leader in the development of highly efficient terrestrial concentrator solar cells. Its leadership position is further cemented with the recent demonstration of converting 40.7 percent of the sun's energy into electricity. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., verified the milestone.

Delta collaborated closely with several leading companies in the field, including Spectrolab, to develop a viable assembly process that solves difficult to address issues such as material suitability, heat dissipation, and hot spot formation. Spectrolab will qualify the new assembly process according to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards of CPV receivers and modules. Delta has completed the development work for the assembly process, which is currently being evaluated by Spectrolab and shall be qualified as part of Spectrolab's efforts to demonstrate the robustness of the solar cell receiver assembly under high concentration.

"We believe that the solar cell receiver assembly process developed by Delta will enable Spectrolab to offer its customers the opportunity to obtain a complete receiver design that has been proven reliable, thus enabling our customers to speed up their entry into the CPV market," said Dr. Raed Sherif, General Manager of the terrestrial photovoltaic products at Spectrolab. "Spectrolab will continue to focus its efforts on developing next generation high-efficiency solar cells, and on increasing factory production capacity in order to improve the overall system economics."

"There is a great deal of growth happening in this market because CPV is offering higher efficiency leading to lower cents per kWh," said Roland Chiang, Director of the CPBG R&D Center at Delta Electronics. "Our cooperation with Spectrolab, coupled with Delta's expertise in module assembly, inverter technology, thermal management, optical design and testing, and material expertise, will ensure that Delta is able to introduce its own CPV solution in the near future. Delta is well positioned in the multibillion dollar PV industry to provide a variety of high-efficiency PV solutions and we are happy to add this technology to our growing green energy portfolio."

Spectrolab has leveraged its expertise in space photovoltaic products to fabricate multijunction solar cells that are optimized for the terrestrial spectrum. The use of the high-efficiency multijunction solar cells in a high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) module offers the best opportunity to bring down the cost of solar energy, making it a commercially viable option for providing electricity in the terrestrial markets. The market for concentrator PV-based power production plants is projected to be greater than $500M or more than 250MW by 2010, according to several industry sources.

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