Directory:AVA Solar Inc

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Image:AVA Solar 95x95.jpg

W. S. Sampath, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University has developed a method for manufacturing low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels, bringing solar electricity to approximately the same cost as traditional grid electricity.

AVA Solar Inc is expected to commence mass production of the panels by beginning of 2009. Its proprietary technology will significantly reduce the cost of generating solar electricity. The factory will be able to produce enough panels in one year to generate 200 megawatts if all the panels were running at once, which is enough to power around 40,000 U.S. homes.


Official Website


PV Modules


Press Released

Company Overview

Latest Developments

Another massive funding for thin film solar, with $104M to AVA Solar, a challenger to First Solar - (VentureBeat Aug. 28, 2008)

Manufacturing Edge

Image:AVA SolarPV module diagram 550.jpg

Prof. Sampath has developed a continuous, automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. Additional savings are realized in that the manufacturing can be done at a very high rate and yield. Also, the resulting panels have a relatively high efficiency (11-13%) for conversion of the sun's energy to electricity.

Quoting from

High throughput – Because we do not have to batch process steps and only enter and exit vacuum once, we can achieve very high throughputs on our equipment.

Low waste – Our processing chambers are specially designed to minimize material waste. This not only cuts our processing costs and minimizes recycling, it also allows us to run our equipment continually without the need for frequent chamber cleaning.

High yield – Due to our tightly controlled process parameters and ability to ensure highly uniform thickness of our thin films, we can achieve extremely high yields.


The panels are expected to cost the consumer as little as $2 per watt, which is roughly half as much as what present solar panels cost.

Correction : "We have not set a final price for the modules yet, so the information under 'Cost' is not accurate." (Rebecca Morris, Project Coordinator, AVA Solar May 09, 2008)


The process is a low waste process with less than 2% of the materials used in production needing to be recycled. It also makes better use of raw materials since the process converts solar energy into electricity more efficiently. Cadmium telluride solar panels require 100 times less semiconductor material than high-cost crystalline silicon panels.


Company: AVA Solar Inc.

"AVA Solar has developed a thin film photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing technology which is the culmination of 15 years of scientific and engineering effort. During all aspects of this development, mass manufacturing was emphasized.

"By the end of 2008, AVA Solar intends to be the lowest cost PV module manufacturer in the world – with a cost below $1 / watt."

"AVA Solar recently won the DOE Inventions and Innovations’ Category III award, awarded only once in the 25-year history of this prestigious program."

The new facility is anticipated to employ as many as 500 people.

Inventor: W.S. Sampath

W.S. Sampath, Professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado State University, has been refining this technology since 1991.


Solar plant seen for state (The Denver Post Sep 2007)

Solar-panel plant could employ 500 (Rocky Mountain News Sep 2007)

Professor improves solar panels' efficiency (Coloradoan Sep 2007)

Solar power (''The Tribune (Sep 2007)

New Low Cost Solar Panels Ready for Mass Production ('IndustryWeek' Sep. 10, 2007)

New Solar Panels Produced at Less Than $1 Per Watt (TreeHugger Sept. 24, 2007)

Method for $1/Watt Solar Panels Will Soon See Commercial Use (Slashdot Sept. 23, 2007)

On Nov. 1, 2007, the company wrote: "We are no longer making reference to the 'at less than $1/watt'."

AVA Solar Starts Solar Panel Production ( Sep 2007)

Sun shines on solar startup: New plant, 500 jobs on horizon for AVA Solar (Northern [Colorado Business Report Aug 2007)

Solar Breakthrough: Fort Collins firm hits pay dirt (North Forty News Aug 2007)

Related Technologies

Image:First Solar 95x95.jpg

First Solar stands alone - First Solar, which makes cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar cells, is having one of those years that corporate managers and investors dream about. So the question is, how come they don't have any major competitors? Copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar cells aren't even on the market. CdTe works and there are customers. (CNET News Nov. 20, 2007)

Image:Q-Cells solar 95x95.jpg

Cadmium telluride photovoltaic modules - Germany-based Q-Cells has acquired Ohio's Solar Fields in a deal that merges their production of cadmium telluride thin film photovoltaic modules. The first prototype facility with a capacity of 25 megawatts is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2008. ( Nov. 1, 2007)

Image:CdTe solar 95x95.jpg

PrimeStar to commercialize NREL solar cells - PrimeStar Solar announced an agreement to commercialize high efficiency photovoltaic (PV) technology developed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The agreement is to transition NREL's record 16.5% efficiency cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology to commercial module production. (Inside Greentech Feb. 28, 2007)


AVA Solar, Inc.

4557 Denrose Court, Unit B

Ft. Collins, CO 80524

Phone: (970) 472-1580

Fax: (970) 482-3999

email: []


See Talk:Directory:AVA Solar Inc

See also



Directory:Solar - index of resources

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PowerPedia:Solar Energy - Encyclopedic review of history and future

Directory:Solar Energy Research and Development


Directory:Solar Problems


Directory:Concentrated Solar Power

Directory:Solar Infrared Harvesting

Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics

Directory:Home Generation:Solar PV

Directory:Photovoltaic Research and Development

Directory:Solar Thermal

Directory:Home Generation:Solar Heating

Directory:Thin Film Solar

Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation

Directory:Solar Paint

Directory:Dye Solar Cells

Directory:Solar Tower

Directory:Floating Solar Chimney

Directory:Space Based Solar Power

Directory:Solar Sails

Directory:Solar Windows


Directory:Plastic Solar Cells

Directory:Silicon - more efficient uses, alternatives, methods

Directory:Black Silicon

Directory:Synchronous Solar Heliostat

Directory:Solar:Installation and Consultation



Directory:Solar Applications



Directory:Solar Hydrogen

Directory:Walipini Underground Greenhouses

OS:Solar Ethanol - distiller design

Directory:Energy from Roadways

Directory:Solar Pavement - black-body absorption of the asphalt

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