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Taiwan HCPV plant to demo in 2009

LED chip maker Epistar is helping its newly-established compatriot Everphoton build the pilot III-V solar system.

A Taiwanese start-up is using III-V multi-junction cells from Emcore and Spectrolab in its first solar power plant, but is looking to nearby suppliers for possible alternatives.

A planned 1 MW plant will demonstrate Everphoton's highly-concentrated photovoltaic (HCPV) technology, in what looks set to be a milestone for Taiwan.

“The first 200 kW (peak) will be completed at the beginning of 2009 and will be located in southern Taiwan,” a spokesperson from the company told compoundsemiconductor.net.

Once the full 1 MW is deployed it should rate as the largest HCPV installation by a Taiwanese manufacturer, beating Arima Eco s 300 kW contribution to the ISFOC project in Spain. The ISFOC systems are due to be operational before the end of 2008.

Everphoton s current systems combine 500 to 1000-fold concentrating Fresnel lenses, a tracking system and its controls with a high-conversion receiver module. Compound semiconductor cells from the world's top three suppliers will be used in the systems for the pilot plant. “We will also do laboratory tests on solar cells from local and other suppliers,” the spokesperson said.

The company was founded in 2007 with investments from global top five LED packaging house Everlight Electronics and electronic material producer Yee Fong Chemical.

Everlight is also a major shareholder in LED manufacturer Epistar and Everphoton looks set to use its connections with the compound industry to evaluate different sources of cells. Furthermore, Everphoton says that these companies are co-operating to build the HCPV solar power plant.

Although Everphoton only appears to have been in existence for a year, it claims its products are based on three years of research and development with experts from Taiwan, Europe and the US.

After the first 200 kW phase of the plant is up and running, Everphoton intends to host a HCPV World Conference in Taiwan in July 2009.

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