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IQE & Solar Junction aim to boost cell efficiency to over 50%

IQE has received a $1.95 million order for III-V solar wafers from the current world record cell efficiency holder, Solar Junction. The cash will be used for two purposes ; $1 million for first production wafers, and the remainder for the optimisation of Solar Junction's triple-junction indium gallium arsenide cells

IQE has received its first major orders for Concentrating PhotoVoltaic (CPV) wafers from CPV cell developer and manufacturer Solar Junction.

The orders are worth a total of $1.95 million, relating to $1 million for first production wafers and $950,000 for development wafers for improving yet further the efficiency of Solar Junction's CPV products. IQE signed a seven-year exclusive wafer supply agreement with Solar Junction in February 2012.

The CPV wafer production order follows Solar Junction’s recent announcement of its first 5MW order from SolFocus, 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. CPV project announcements during 2012 are exceeding industry projections, with more than 650MW project announcements thus far.

Solar Junction currently holds the world 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 of more than 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 (source: GTM) and increasing cell efficiency will further lower the cost of CPV power generation substantially.

Drew Nelson, IQE President and CEO, says, “This order from Solar Junction is clear indication that CPV technology is gaining significant traction in large scale power generation projects in sunny areas. 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, position IQE to be a major wafer supplier to the rapidly emerging CPV industry, by far the most efficient of any solar technology.”
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