April 16, 2012

Semiconductor Today

Solar Junction receives SUNPATH award from US Department of Energy

Solar Junction of San Jose, CA, USA, a manufacturer of III-V multi-junction solar cells based on proprietary adjustable-spectrum lattice-matched (A-SLAM) materials for concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), has received a SUNPATH (Scaling Up Nascent PV At Home) award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) as part of a $21.5m program to increase its CPV cell manufacturing capacity.
 
Through the program, Solar Junction is targeting a median cell efficiency of 42% on 150mm substrates. It is reckoned that these factors should make a substantial impact on reducing CPV’s $/Watt module costs by driving down the cost of the cell, while increasing the CPV module power output via increased cell efficiency.

“It is an honor to be in such a select pool of SUNPATH awardees through the SunShot program,” says CEO Jim Weldon. “This allows Solar Junction to move into the next phase of commercialization and will allow for a path to volume manufacturing.”

SUNPATH falls under the DOE’s SunShot Program, which aims to increase PV manufacturing in the USA through investments in technologies that are sustainable with competitive cost and high performance. SunShot investments are designed to help achieve $1/Watt by 2020.
 
In February, Solar Junction announced a $19.2m investment round, as well as an exclusive manufacturing agreement with epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK. The firm says that, coupled with the SUNPATH award, it is on a path to high-volume manufacturing of its A-SLAM cell.