Sweden-based solar cell nanowire materials start-up Sol Voltaics said it had secured US$17 million in new equity investment and grant funding to commercialise its tandem-layer technology.

Sweden-based solar cell nanowire materials start-up Sol Voltaics said it had secured US$17 million in new equity investment and grant funding to commercialise its tandem-layer technology.

Sweden-based solar cell nanowire materials start-up Sol Voltaics said it had secured US$17 million in new equity investment and grant funding to commercialise its tandem-layer technology.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in a number of competing tandem-layer technologies designed to significantly boost the efficiency of existing solar modules,” said Erik Smith, CEO of Sol Voltaics. “Following our recent nanowire alignment breakthrough and several other critical technological advances, this latest investment from new and long-term partners reflects the confidence they have in Sol Voltaics’ ability to become the premier commercial solution for stacked tandem-junction solar modules.”

The company recently claimed a breakthrough in the ability to deploy gallium arsenide nanowires in a thin-film format on crystalline silicon solar cells that creates the opportunity for nanowire alignment and orientation repeatability, which would significantly boost cell conversion efficiencies.

The Series C funding round was led by new investor Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Previous investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden, and Nano Future Invest also contributed to the US$12.5 million in equity. 

In addition, the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program backed the company with over US$4.5 million in additional grants, according to the company. 

German-based cleantech advisory firm, Apricum, acted as financial advisor to the start-up.

“To overcome the physical limits of current mainstream single-junction technology, the photovoltaic industry needs to find a low-cost dual-junction technology,” said Dr. Moritz Borgmann, partner at Apricum. “Sol Voltaics, with its drop-in product, provides a game-changing yet simple solution to this problem. The great investor interest underlines how compelling the technology is.”

Sol Voltaics’ nanowire film, when integrated on top of traditional silicon solar cells as a tandem cell is claimed to boost module efficiency by more than 50%, enabling module conversion efficiency exceeding 27%.

Tags: solar cell

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