Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 1, Page 6
Fall 1991
New building dedicated to making solar cells

     The University officially opened a new $1.65 million facility
June 14 that reinforces its nearly two-decades-long leadership role in
solar energy research.
     President David P. Roselle dedicated and officially turned over a
new headquarters and manufacturing building for AstroPower Inc. to
Allen M. Barnett, company president, at a ceremony attended by
dignitaries from the state, the University and the solar energy
     Currently, AstroPower is the fourth-largest U.S. manufacturer in
terms of shipment volume and the third-largest U.S.-owned manufacturer
of photovoltaic solar cells for power applications. Photovoltaic solar
cells directly convert sunlight to electricity.
     In 1990, the University's Board of Trustees approved construction
of the 40,000-square-foot building, located near the main campus in
Newark, to be leased to AstroPower for 20 years for research on and
production of solar cells.  The University receives rent and stock in
the company, which operates under license with University of Delaware
     Barnett, who also serves as professor of electrical engineering,
said that AstroPower's primary products include Silicon-Film solar
cells, thin films of crystalline silicon on a low-cost substrate;
traditional crystalline silicon cells; and high-performance solar
cells for both terrestrial and space applications.
     "AstroPower's largest markets are water pumping and other remote
electricity supplies to villages, homes and buildings that do not have
ready access to grid power," Barnett said.
     The power segment of the photovoltaic solar cell market, which
was $350 million in 1990, is growing at a rate of 50 percent per year,
he added.
     Barnett said that laboratory-scale Silicon-Film cells convert
15.7 percent of the sunlight striking their surface into electricity,
the highest efficiency rating for any deposited film solar cell.
     AstroPower already has sold 42,000 watts of Silicon-Film solar
cells, one array to be installed at a Pacific Gas & Electric site in
Davis, Calif., and the other to be installed at Virginia Power near