It seeks to eliminate the current critical raw materials (indium and gallium) and replace these with kesterite, a material formed by metals of low toxicity (Cu, Sn and Zn) which are abundant in the Earth’s crust. This offers a safe supply chain as the production of these metals in not controlled by any country.
Kesterite provides the most rational and realistic option for the photovoltaic industry beyond technologies based on silicon, as they have proven to offer high levels of stability on a laboratory scale. Likewise, their reuse and recycling are a possibility that Starcell is similarly conducting research into.
Following two years’ research carried out by the consortium members, Ayesa will undertake the installation of these developments in a pilot plant located Spain.
The modules include a small adjoining meteorological station that will measure the wind, humidity and temperature, along with other environmental factors so that these can later be related to conditions and output.
Data created by the different information systems will be handled via an IT system devised by Ayesa to monitor the performance of these energy installations and it will be integrated in Gridpilot.
Thirteen partners participate in Starcell. It is coordinated by IREC and formed by Ayesa, Wirec, Empa, Imperial College, Imra, Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg, CEA, Uppsala Universitet, HZB, Midsummer, Duke University and the National Japanese Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).