Energy Focus signed a twelve month $100,000 contract with DuPont-University of Delaware very high efficiency solar cell (VHESC) consortium as part of a defense advanced research projects agency (DARPA)- funded effort for the delivery of advanced solar research for high efficiency, low cost photovoltaics. DARPA is creating the VHESC solar module technology for compact renewable energy power for permanent and mobile bases. It also intends to reduce the logistical conundrum of providing energy, such as batteries and fuel, to the US military in the field.
“This brings this phase of our solar program funding to $3.2 million. We are pleased with both DARPA’s and the VHESC consortium’s confidence in us to deliver as this funding level reflects,” said Joe Kaveski, Energy Focus CEO. “We are proud to be part of the team that we believe will make efficient, affordable solar panels a reality for the military and for all Americans.”
The modules that are being developed by the VHESC team use an optical “spectrum splitting” system, which takes light from the sun into different paths corresponding to the color of the light and in turn focuses the light onto PV cells that cover distinctive segments of the solar spectrum. DARPA and the VHESC recently entered the second two-year phase of the four-year program, which aims to raise the system power efficiency of a new class of solar modules to 40% and deliver engineering prototype modules that can be promptly put into production.