FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.


6 August 2008


Emcore wins orders worth $40m for CPV solar cells and receivers

Emcore Corp of Albuquerque, NM, USA, which manufactures components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber-optic and solar power markets, has entered into two new supply agreements for solar cells and receivers with a total value of over $40m.

The larger of the two contracts is a multi-year supply agreement for solar cells, to be delivered over four years. The product to be delivered will be incorporated into concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) systems developed for commercial rooftop installations as well as utility-scale solar farms. The customers are targeting CPV deployments in the USA, with a particular focus on the California market. Production has commenced and about $1m of product is expected to be shipped in this quarter.

Emcore says that the award of these purchase agreements further diversifies its terrestrial CPV component order backlog.

Emcore has a line of integrated CPV solar cell products optimized for operation at 500-1000x concentration with a minimum average efficiency of 37%, providing terrestrial systems integrators with a complete photovoltaic solution for their CPV systems. The CPV receiver can be integrated into existing CPV systems.

Emcore claims to be the first firm to provide 20 years of performance warranty. It adds that, by choosing its receivers, CPV system developers can focus on advancing their optical design and optimizing the balance of their system, hence reducing time to market.

Award for Emcore’s Inverted Metamorphic Multi-junction technology

Last week, Emcore said that its Inverted Metamorphic Multi-junction (IMM) solar cell technology had been chosen by R&D Magazine for an R&D 100 award, recognizing the IMM solar cell as one of the most innovative technologies of 2008.
The solar cell technology provides a platform for Emcore’s next-generation photovoltaic products for space and terrestrial solar power applications.

Solar cells built using IMM technology recently achieved record conversion efficiency of 33% used in space, and it is anticipated that efficiency levels of 42-45% will be achieved when adapted for use under 500-1500x concentrated illumination, typical in terrestrial concentrator CPV systems. Once commercialized, CPV systems powered with Emcore’s IMM-based products should see a reduction in the cost of power generated by 10-20%. Emcore expects to commercialize the technology for both space and terrestrial applications in 2009.

Developed in conjunction with the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Vehicle Systems Directorate of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Emcore says that the IMM design consists of a novel combination of compound semiconductors that enables a superior response to the solar spectrum compared to conventional multi-junction architecture. Due to its unique design, the IMM cell is about one fifteenth the thickness of a conventional multi-junction solar cell and should enable a new class of very lightweight, high-efficiency and flexible solar arrays for space applications. Furthermore, Emcore says that the technology can be integrated readily into complete line of CPV receiver products, and the increased conversion efficiency should enable the most cost-effective CPV systems. The firm has developed more than 10 patents pending in the area of solar cell design and manufacturing techniques for the technology.

In collaboration with NREL and AFRL, Emcore is continuing to refine and optimize multi-junction solar cell technology to reach higher-efficiency performance, says David Danzilio, VP and general manager of Emcore’s Photovoltaics Division.

See related items:

Emcore wins CPV receiver orders worth $29m

Emcore sells shares in WorldWater

CPV sales boost Emcore, but start-up costs widen losses

Korea’s ES orders $28m of Emcore’s CPV receivers

Emcore to deploy CPV systems with China’s XinAo

Emcore wins $4.6m follow-on order for CPV receiver assemblies

Search: Emcore Solar cells CPV systems