Massachusetts-based silicon wafer maker 1366 Technologies Inc and Texas-based Hunt Perovskite Technologies LLC (HPT), created as part of Hunt Energy Enterprises LLC (HEE), have merged and secured USD 25 million (EUR 20.9m) in funding for the combined business.
The merger brings together 1366's Direct Wafer process for wafer manufacturing and HPT's printed perovskite solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, with the parties aiming to speed up the development of high-powered tandem solar modules.
The new company will from now on be known as CubicPV, a name that reflects the shared cubic crystal structure of both silicon and perovskite, and will have offices in Bedford, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas. It will get USD 25 million from HEE, First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR), Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), as well as North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Partners. HEE will join the board of directors.
1366 says it has been working towards a tandem future over the past two years. Perovskite materials can serve as a tandem top cell, effectively capturing the sun's visible light, while the Direct Wafer products can provide low-cost bottom cell to catch the infrared portion of the solar spectrum.
A main hurdle to perovskite commercialisation has been the technology’s durability but the parties said HPT has made progress in this area and has “one of the strongest global patent portfolios on the technology.”
"Our singular Direct Wafer process is the crucial advantage in making tandem modules a reality and with the HPT merger, we have the blueprint for achieving economically-viable, tandem solutions for terawatt-scale," said Frank van Mierlo, chief executive of 1366 Technologies and the new CubicPV.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.838)
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