MIT spin-off 1366 Technologies has revealed that it has been awarded an agreement worth up to $3 million for further development of self-aligned cell technology. The cost-shared 18-month subcontract is between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) for the project dubbed “Self-Aligned Cell: Scaling up manufacture of a cost effective cell architecture for multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaics”.
Funding for the project has been made available in part under the Solar America Initiative (SAI), whose SAI Incubator Program performed a technology review to determine whether 1366 was an eligible recipient of the funding.
The company will use the funding to develop its Self-Aligned Cell technology, a method that allows for cost-effective, scalable manufacturing of multicrystalline solar cells.
“Increasing cell efficiency without increasing costs is the solar industry’s biggest manufacturing challenge,” said Ely Sachs, CTO, 1366 Technologies. “Our Self-Aligned Cell does exactly this, by producing cells with monocrystalline efficiencies at multicrystalline costs. This is a big step toward making solar power competitive with traditional electricity generation.”