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



























30 November 2006


Emcore's PhotoVoltaics wins $41m multi-year order for communications satellites

In an extension to an existing multi-year purchasing agreement, the Photovoltaics Division of Emcore Corp of Somerset, NJ, USA has been awarded a multi-year purchase order ­ worth an estimated $41m over 3 years ­ for its production facility in Albuquerque, NM to supply high-efficiency GaAs-on-Ge multi-junction solar cells for about 10 high-power commercial geosynchronous communications satellites.

"This purchase order, along with the initial purchase agreement, represents one of the largest multi-junction solar cell procurements from any US satellite manufacturer," says David Danzilio, vice president and general manager of the PhotoVoltaic Division. Production is expected to start in the January quarter and continue through 2009, with several hundred thousand solar cells to be delivered to the end customer.

Emcore supplies highly efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a beginning-of-life conversion efficiency of 28.5% and the option of a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, Emcore says its multi-junction solar cells enable a new class of high-power communications satellite for direct-to-home broadcasts and advanced satellite services. The solar cells have also been adapted for use in terrestrial concentrator applications and have attained conversion efficiencies in excess of 36%. These products will enable cost-competitive concentrating photovoltaic systems for use in utility-scale solar power stations and other distributed energy applications, says Emcore.

At the end of October, Emcore Photovoltaics officially opened a $2.5m, 20,000ft2 expansion of its Albuquerque operations for space and terrestrial solar panel production. The opening ceremony was attended by chairman Dr Thomas J. Russell, CEO Reuben F. Richards Jr, US Senator Pete Domenici, US Representative Heather Wilson and New Mexico Lt. Governor Dianne Denish.

"Emcore Photovoltaics Division continues to grow at a rapid pace and has secured a number of new production programs for fully integrated space solar panels as well as solar cells," added Richards.