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11 May 2016

Sol Voltaics raises $17m in Series C funding following breakthrough in nanowire solar cell efficiency

Sol Voltaics AB of Lund, Sweden, which provides nanomaterial technology for enhancing solar panels and other products, has raised $17m in a Series C round of equity investment and grant funding, led by new investor Riyadh Valley Company (RVC), the venture capital investment arm of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Long-term investors Umoe, FAM, Industrifonden, and Nano Future Invest also contributed to the $12.5m in equity. In addition, the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program contributed over $4.5m in additional grants.

The new funding will bolster Sol Voltaics' efforts to to accelerate commercialization of its nanowire-based solar efficiency-boosting film tandem-layer technology to market. The firm recently announced a major technological breakthrough with the successful alignment of gallium arsenide (GaAs) nanowires in a thin film. When integrated in a tandem-junction architecture on mainstream crystalline silicon panels, Sol Voltaics' nanomaterials developments can enable photovoltaic module efficiencies of more than 27% (a 50% enhancement in energy generation compared to existing solar panels).

In addition, over the past few quarters Sol Voltaics has progressed through several generations of development of its Aerotaxy technology. Stemming from Lund University in Sweden, this patented process is the foundation for producing nanowire solar cells and films in a cost-effective manner (a key parameter in the commercialization process, says Sol Voltaics).

"There is a tremendous amount of interest in a number of competing tandem-layer technologies designed to significantly boost the efficiency of existing solar modules," says CEO Erik Smith. "Following our recent nanowire alignment breakthrough and several other critical technological advances, this latest investment from new and long-term partners reflects the confidence they have in Sol Voltaics' ability to become the premier commercial solution for stacked tandem-junction solar modules," he adds.

"With the company's recent technology breakthroughs and nanowire efficiency world record we believe Sol Voltaics can lead the tandem solar cell revolution," comments RVC's CEO Dr Khalid Al Saleh.

Berlin-based Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory acted as financial advisor to Sol Voltaics in the transaction. According to Apricum, the capital raised represents the largest solar-technology funding round in Europe in the past 18 months.

"To overcome the physical limits of current mainstream single-junction technology, the photovoltaic industry needs to find a low-cost dual-junction technology," says Apricum partner Moritz Borgmann. "Sol Voltaics, with its drop-in product, provides a game-changing yet simple solution to this problem."

Sol Voltaics says that RVC's investment is an example of Saudi Arabia's increasing interest in renewable energy as the country moves toward realizing its huge potential for solar energy.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently unveiled the 'Saudi Arabia Vision 2030' plan as part of the new King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, a wide-ranging economic and social policy effort to achieve an initial domestic deployment target of 9.5GW of solar and other renewable energy sources by 2023.

See related items:

Sol Voltaics achieves alignment and orientation of GaAs nanowires in thin film

Sol Voltaics doubles GaAs nanowire array solar efficiency record to 15.3%

Sol Voltaics unveils SolInk nanomaterial to boost PV module performance by 25%

Tags: Nanowire GaAs PV

Visit: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?reload=true&arnumber=7298402

Visit: www.solvoltaics.com

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