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Solar Manufacturing Technology 2

The PV awards span the supply chain from novel methods to make silicon wafers, to advanced cell and metallization processes, to innovative module packaging and processing. The CSP award demonstrates manufacturability of an innovative CSP reflective-trough receiver.

This second round of SolarMat, announced on October 22, 2014, funds nine photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects that focus on driving down the cost of manufacturing and implementing efficiency-increasing technology in manufacturing processes. The first round of SolarMat was launched in September 2013.

AWARDEES

SolarWorld Industries America Inc.
  • Location: Hillsboro, OR
  • Award Amount: $4,000,000
  • Cost Share: $4,000,000
  • Project Summary: SolarWorld will develop a silicon ingot growth technology to enable cost-competitive domestic manufactured silicon wafers for PV modules. This award transitions SolarWorld's proprietary NeoGrowth (NGM) bulk crystal growth technique from the pilot phase and into early-stage production. Wafers will be single crystalline with very high minority carrier lifetime, low oxygen and excellent mechanical properties. At the end of the project, the NeoGrowth process will be implemented at up to 300 megawatt production capacity, producing wafers at a cost that competes favorably with wafers on the open market.
Silevo Inc.
  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Award Amount: $4,918,326
  • Cost Share: $4,922,137
  • Project Summary: Silevo will develop a next generation Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) thin-film manufacturing tool, leveraging tool architectures commercialized in the LCD industry to enable manufacture of high-performance tunnel-junction Silicon photovoltaic cells. The result will be a significant reduction in capital costs for domestic high-volume manufacturing, reduced wafer-to-cell conversion costs, and a domestically manufactured product line at a global best-in-class price.
1366 Technologies Inc.
  • Location: Bedford, MA
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Cost Share: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: 1366 Technologies is demonstrating the potential for substantial silicon usage reductions and increased cell efficiencies with innovative kerfless wafer geometries employing their Direct Wafer technology.
Enki Technology Inc.
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Award Amount: $2,000,000
  • Cost Share: $2,006,005
  • Project Summary: Enki is partnering with Flextronics International USA, to deploy a fully integrated solar glass coating manufacturing line in Flextronics' U.S.-based module assembly facility. This project will verify both the manufacturing performance and costs of employing Enki's highly durable, anti-reflective, and anti-soiling coating product in a commercial U.S. silicon module assembly facility.
Siva Power Inc.
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Award Amount: $2,998,729
  • Cost Share: $8,870,000
  • Project Summary: Siva Power will develop and demonstrate a 2 meter wide linear high temperature evaporation source for high speed, large area CIGS module manufacturing. This component will have a 12x higher manufacturing throughput (m2/min) over state-of-the-art CIGS deposition, enabling a fully automated CIGS deposition system at a 3x reduction in Capex, labor and overhead cost.
Cogenra Solar Inc.
  • Location: Mountain View, CA
  • Award Amount: $1,993,383
  • Cost Share: $2,049,993
  • Project Summary: Cogenra is automating the manufacturing of its proprietary dense cell interconnect (DCI) technology which eliminates ribbons, solder-joint and inter-cell gaps to deliver significant gains in performance, reliability, cost and aesthetics. Cogenra will improve its current pilot manufacturing capability, and demonstrate key processing steps that will enable a 100 MW per year production line. The automated manufacturing technology will reduce fabrication costs by increasing labor productivity and yield; furthermore, the technology improves module reliability and enables rapid production scale-up and market penetration, making it advantageous to manufacture in the U.S.
Norwich Technologies Inc.
  • Location: White River Junction, VT
  • Award Amount: $1,391,548
  • Cost Share: $1,391,548
  • Project Summary: Norwich Technologies is taking its novel receiver for trough-based CSP, the SunTrapTM, from proven laboratory prototype to fully manufacturable system integrated with the solar field. The analysis, design, and testing will address 30-yr service life, low cost manufacturability, and low operations and maintenance.
Technic Inc.
  • Location: Cranston, RI
  • Award Amount: $900,000
  • Cost Share: $905,318
  • Project Summary: Technic Inc. will seek to commercialize technology which will eliminate silver metal from the front contacts of crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic cells through the use of plated metal contacts.  The project focuses on developing equipment and chemistry in parallel to accelerate the development of a commercially viable, low cost copper plated metallization technology to replace the standard silver paste screen printing technology. The project’s performance goal is to produce a solar cell that demonstrates improved electrical results compared to current silver paste technology and demonstrates module reliability that is equal to or better than the industry standards.  Silicon solar cells manufactured with plated contacts that eliminate silver will provide a path to reducing the total cost of solar energy.
Suniva
  • Location: Norcross, GA
  • Award Amount: $2,300,506
  • Cost Share: $2,300,506
  • Project Summary: Suniva Inc., in collaboration with Georgia Tech Research Institute, plans to develop and manufacture high power n-type solar cells with efficiencies ≥ 22.5% using high volume compatible, low-cost manufacturing based on a new disruptive technology that aims to address the traditional tradeoffs between higher performance and cost of manufacturing. The proposed technology will enable a significant improvement in the total energy yields from these panels enabling a significant reduction in the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) consistent with SunShot program objectives.

Learn more about SunShot's other technology to market funding programs.