Solar Thin Films, Inc. (Solar Thin Films) has announced that BudaSolar Limited (BudaSolar) has received two research and development (R&D) contracts from the Hungarian National Office for Research and Technology (HNORT). The first contract is to improve efficiency for silicon based thin film solar cells. Another one aims to develop improved in-line monitoring tools for thin film processes. The project also aims to develop processing techniques for higher efficiency micromorph solar modules.

The project leader for the first award is BudaSolar’s CEO, Dr. Istvan Krafcsik.

The first R&D contract valued at over $3.0 million has been awarded to a consortium consisting of BudaSolar, Optilab Ltd., the Research Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science or MFA, and the Research Institute for Nuclear Research or ATOMKI. Total government support for BudaSolar as partner equals just more than $1.4 million.

The second contract valued at around $3.6 million has been awarded to partner Semilab Co. Ltd. (Semilab), BudaSolar, the MFA, and the Department of Electronic Devices at Budapest Technical University. Total government support for BudaSolar is just more than $400,000. The main aim of the project is to develop in-line process monitoring tools, which are optimized for thin film technology. BudaSolar will retain the right to incorporate these tools into its turnkey offering.

This project will complement our existing research capabilities and is another positive step in our efforts to run a world-class development effort aimed at continuous improvement of our industry leading amorphous silicon solution, noted Dr. Csaba Ducso, BudaSolar’s head of technology development.

Sharing laboratory development with multiple physical research institutes provides us with greater access to more sophisticated research equipment and enables us to complement our own research team with noted academic specialists, said BudaSolar’s Dr. Istvan Krafcsik. Together we have a strong probability of success in an effort that would launch KRAFT forward with a high efficiency version of its ultra low cost batch process or ‘box carrier’ system, and would ensure continued competitiveness based on improving what is already acknowledged to be one of the world’s lowest cost production processes.

Peter Lewis, Group Vice President of STF’s Thin Film and Equipment Division, commented, This is further evidence that combining KRAFT’s equipment manufacturing expertise and BudaSolar’s process and development expertise will yield an industry leading low cost solution for the production of thin film solar modules.