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Semprius to provide III-V solar modules for U.S. DoD

The III-V solar cells will be used in the 200 kilowatt system at Edwards Air Force Base in 2013
Semprius will be providing its technology to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s (PWR’s) $2.3 million award from the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) office of the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD).

Semprius modules use III-V multi-junction solar cells and the design means they dissipate heat better and run cooler. This enables the modules to outperform traditional silicon and thin-film modules in hotter climates.

The project is designed to demonstrate the high-performance and cost-effectiveness of HCPV technology for use at DoD installations as well as in other commercial and utility scale applications.

As part of the project, PWR will install a 200 kilowatt (kW) solar system at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The system will comprise 2,400 Semprius modules mounted on dual-axis trackers and will produce over 400,000 kWh of electricity annually, enough to power approximately 40 homes.

Semprius’ manufacturing facility, located in Henderson, North Carolina, uses a proprietary process to deliver the world’s highest efficiency solar modules. At 33.9 percent, Semprius says its modules are the first to convert over one-third of the sun’s energy into electricity.

What's more, Semprius modules perform better than conventional modules under high temperature conditions, and in locations like the U.S. Southwest, Semprius says its systems can deliver up to 30 percent more energy than equivalent PV systems, as illustrated in the graph below.

“We are honoured to be working with PWR to deliver our HCPV modules to the DoD,” says Joe Carr, CEO of Semprius. “We believe that our technology will play an increasingly important role in delivering cost-competitive, sustainable energy.”

Semprius and PWR, part of United Technologiies began working together in 2011 to demonstrate Semprius’ technology at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Over the past 18 months, the companies have collaborated to scale-up the technology into a cost-effective, commercial-grade system.

“Having spent several years evaluating emerging PV technologies, we’ve selected Semprius because of the potential of their technology to drive down the cost of solar electricity significantly,” says Randy Parsley, Renewable Energy Program Manager at PWR. “We look forward to executing this project with Semprius to help the DoD begin to achieve its energy independence and energy security goals.”

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