The business strategy of tf2 devices involves continuous developments to further reduce the cost per watt-peak for ELO solar cells, and the early engagement in the development of high-efficiency III-V semiconductor devices that have a large potential for added performance in a thin-film geometry and cost reduction by substrate reuse. Part of this research and development is performed within several European research projects.

One of the projects tf2 devices is involved in is ALFAMA, which stands for ‘Advanced Lightweight and Flexible Array with Mechanical Architecture’, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Together with partners Fraunhofer ISE, CEA, Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands, France and Germany, AZUR Space and Absiskey, the objective is to develop a flexible III-V solar array for space applications. In the frame of ALFAMA, tf2 devices will perform ELO and subsequent thin-film processing to produce triple-junction Inverted MetaMorphic ELO solar cells to be integrated in the flexible III-V solar array.

In April 2017 the CASOLBA (CAlibration of SOLar cells using BAlloon flight) flight by the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) successfully took place. Using a stratospheric balloon flight at an altitude of 34 to 37 km, the solar cells on board were electronically monitored while being exposed to irradiance closely approaching the Air Mass 0 (AM0) spectrum, for temperatures ranging from -10 to +50 °C. One solar cell slot was offered to tf2 devices by the European Space Agency (ESA), and the ELO solar cell concerned performed perfectly.

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