The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new round of funding for its SunShot Initiative, which aims to drive solar energy to be cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.
The following companies were selected for awards:
AmberWave Inc., based in Salem, N.H., will receive $1 million for its ‘robust ultra-thin mono-crystalline silicon technology on flexible steel carriers,’ which is expected to reduce silicon usage by more than 90% compared to standard wafer-based PV, the DOE says.
Bandgap Engineering, based in Woburn, Mass., will receive $1 million for its work to increase solar cell efficiency by integrating silicon nanowire cells into standard processing, thus raising overall cell efficiency by approximately 10%. The company will provide nanowire-coated wafers to cell manufacturers and develop a manufacturing process.
Enki Technology, based in San Jose, Calif., will receive $1.5 million for its work on developing low-cost anti-reflective coatings and anti-soiling coatings.
Infinite Invention LLC, based in Philadelphia, will receive $386,462 for its Solar Socket device, which is expected to streamline the PV installation process by adding sockets for plugging in systems between the meter and meter case.
Princeton Power Systems, based in Lawrenceville, N.J., will receive $1 million for an inverter it is developing. The inverter changes DC power from PV strings to AC power without requiring a grid-side transformer.
Qado Energy Inc., based in Summit, N.J., will receive $500,000 for its work on a decision platform for utilities and distributed-generation developers that assesses benefits of deploying distributed energy.
QBotix Inc., based in Menlo Park, Calif., will receive $972,874 for its robotics systems used in PV trackers. The technology is expected to enable 50% cost reduction for dual-axis tracking.
REhnu Inc., based in Tucson, Ariz., will receive $1 million for concentrated PV (CPV) technology that is readying for commercial production. The technology incorporatesÂ ‘large glass dish reflectors, each with a compact array of CPV cells at its focus, making it economical to build systems with an extended 40-year lifetime and maintain high power output by swapping in new cells as multi-junction technology improves,’ the DOE explains.
Seeo, based in Hayward, Calif., will receive $317,536 for an energy storage system it is developing with SunEdison. The unit uses Seeo's solid-state battery and a set of control analytics designed to optimize performance when operated alongside solar.
Stion, based in San Jose, Calif., will receive $2 million for its tandem copper indium gallium diselenide module technology. According to the DOE, the tandem module eliminates the ‘design and manufacturing challenges associated with multi-junction monolithic integration,’ thus allowing for 18% efficiency.