Spire’s semiconductor subsidiary has successfully completed Phase I of its high-efficiency concentrator photovoltaic solar cell program with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The company has also been notified that NREL will authorize Phase II of the program.
Under the 18-month, $3.7 million cost-share subcontract, Spire Semiconductor is developing technology to cost-effectively manufacture 42% efficient, 500-sun, triple-junction gallium-arsenide solar cells for CPV systems.
Spire Semiconductor said it passed through NREL’s stage gate review, a go/no go decision point to validate the progression of the project and ensure that progress meets contract objectives.
These objectives include estimates of key performance parameters of competitive levelized cost of energy; annual manufacturing capacity potential; direct manufacturing cost; and cell mean time between failure. PV cell performances of greater than 39% efficiency were achieved during Phase I.
“We are very happy to be given the go-ahead with our program,” said Roger G. Little, chairman/CEO of the Bedford, MA-based company. “It validates our efforts toward developing a proprietary gallium arsenide concentrator solar cell that exceeds anything commercially available.”