1366 Technologies completes NREL PV precincubator ahead of schedule, starts ARPA-E program


1366 Technologies said it has completed its National Renewable Energy Laboratory PV Technology Preincubator program six months ahead of schedule. The crystalline-silicon photovoltaic equipment company signed the contract with NREL in October 2009 for the development of its “Direct Wafer” technology, a “kerfless” approach which produces silicon wafers directly from the silicon melt without casting or sawing and has the potential to reduce wafer production costs by as much as 70%.

The $500,000 NREL preincubator grant was the first of two government awards received by the Lexington, MA-based company to develop Direct Wafer: the technology was also the only PV-oriented recipient of an award (worth $4 million) from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program.

By completing the NREL program early, the company says that it was able to begin its ARPA-E efforts in March, positioning the company to start building a factory in 2011.

Martha Symko-Davies, NREL’s senior program manager (pictured), said that “1366 Technologies was the first company to sign its contract and finished the program six months early, while exceeding their deliverables. Speed to market is critical for new technologies, and 1366 is on the fast track to commercialize its disruptive Direct Wafer process.”

1366 CTO Ely Sachs noted the importance of the NREL program, which has “allowed us to make key hires and accelerate technical development. With continued progress we have the potential to bring this disruptive manufacturing process to market quickly.”

The company has also made progress in commercializing its self-aligned cell (SAC) architecture. 1366 has secured two lead development customers and is selling the SAC equipment and process, which features innovative cell texturing and fine-line metallization to deliver higher efficiencies (up to 18%) with simple, low-cost solutions for PV cell manufacturers.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Read Next

July 18, 2024
EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) has inaugurated the 200MW/40MW  Scarlet I solar-plus-storage project in Fresno County, California.
July 18, 2024
US-based off-grid solar product manufacturer d.light has secured US$176 million to support its PayGo consumer loan offering in three African countries.
July 18, 2024
The facility can process up to 100,000 tonnes of decommissioned solar modules per year that can reduce electronic waste sent to landfills.
July 18, 2024
Recent PV pricing volatility has prompted Platts, part of S&P Global Commodities, to launch a new module spot market tracker for the US, Asia and Europe.
July 18, 2024
“We believe this policy will unlock opportunities for renewables as it increases electricity supply avenues."
July 18, 2024
Egypt aims to accelerate the approval process for new renewables capacity to be constructed in the country.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA