Silicon photovoltaics company, 1366 Technologies, won four million dollars in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).
1366 Technologies competed with more than 3,600 other applicants from across the U.S. in the extensive application process, which resulted in 1366 Technologies being the only photovoltaics (PV) company to receive funding.
The groundbreaking Self-Aligned Cell (SAC) architecture recently announced by the company uses an “innovative cell texturing and metallization design to deliver simpler, more commercially-viable solutions for multi-crystalline cell manufacturers striving to achieve 18 percent cell efficiency.”
1366 Technologies says they can eliminate the cost and production challenges that make it difficult for solar power to replace fossil fuels. The company innovates silicon cell architecture with lean manufacturing processes to create commercially viable high efficiency solar cells that are also cost effective.
Based in Lexington, Massachusetts, the veteran team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs uses a novel approach to break the efficiency and cost tradeoff that has up to now been a major problem for photovoltaics.
The 1366 Technologies team includes MIT professor and photovoltaic industry expert Dr. Emanuel Sachs.
Speaking about theit application to the DOE, a company spokesman said, “Of the large pool of applicants, 37 final recipients were chosen through a rigorous review process with input from multiple review panels composed of leading U.S. energy science and technology experts and ARPA-E’s program managers. Evaluations were based on the potential for high impact on ARPA-E’s goals and scientific and technical merit. 1366 Technologies was selected for the Direct Wafer technology that forms high-efficiency ‘monocrystalline-equivalent’ silicon wafers directly from molten silicon, with the potential to slash the cost of PV installations by half.”
“For over 35 years, silicon PV has been hobbled by high costs and difficulties in scaling due to expensive wafering. Our Direct Wafer technology solves the wafering problem with a breakthrough manufacturing solution that is compatible with today’s supply chain. This funding will allow us to accelerate the development and scaling of Direct Wafer, which will have strong implications for the competitiveness of the U.S. PV industry and provide a basis for future economic growth and jobs.” – Frank van Mierlo, 1366 Technologies co-founder and president
More information about 1366 Technologies is available at the website:www.1366tech.com.