6 July 2012

IQE receives first major orders for CPV wafers, worth nearly $2m

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK has announced its first major orders for concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) wafers from Solar Junction Corp (SJC) of San Jose, CA, USA, which manufactures III-V multi-junction solar cells for CPV modules.

The orders are worth a total of $1.95m, comprising $1m for the first production wafers and $950,000 for development wafers for improving further the efficiency of Solar Junction’s CPV products. IQE signed a seven-year exclusive wafer supply agreement with Solar Junction in February. The agreement included the transfer of CPV technology, the establishment of wafer manufacturing capability, and the subsequent ramp into high-volume production.

The CPV wafer production order follows Solar Junction’s announcement in late May of its first 5MW order from CPV system maker SolFocus Inc of Mountain View, CA, USA, which has been chosen as the system supplier for the 450MW project in Baja, Mexico, the largest CPV project announced to date, funded by Grupo Musa and Synergy Technologies LLC. IQE says that CPV project announcements during 2012 are exceeding industry projections, with more than 650MW project announcements so far.

In April 2011, Solar Junction set the record for CPV cell efficiency at 43.5% and, in conjunction with IQE’s proprietary internal wafer technology, aims to develop cell architectures with efficiencies exceeding 50%. The cost of generating electricity using CPV in hot sunny areas such as California is already at cost parity with all other forms of power generation (according to GTM Research) and increasing cell efficiency will further lower the cost of CPV power generation substantially, says IQE.

“This order from Solar Junction is clear indication that CPV technology is gaining significant traction in large-scale power generation projects in sunny areas,” says IQE’s president & CEO Dr Drew Nelson. “Our long-term, exclusive wafer supply agreement with the world record holders in cell efficiency, coupled with the large-scale manufacturing capacity now in place following our deal to acquire RFMD’s in-house MBE production capacity [announced in early June], position IQE to be a major wafer supplier to the rapidly emerging CPV industry, by far the most efficient of any solar technology,” he adds.

See related items:

IQE raises £10.5m and invests in CPV cell developer Solar Junction

Tags: IQE Solar Junction Multi-junction cell CPV

Visit: www.iqep.com

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