Charlotte, N.C.-based Sencera, a manufacturer of thin-film, silicon-based photovoltaic modules, says it has successfully deposited single-junction silicon solar cells with an initial 8.7% sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency under standard test conditions.
As a result, the company has secured the final $5.2 million of a $15.6 million investment from lead investor Quercus Trust.
Sencera's solar device efficiency gain was achieved with process and hardware enhancements to its Viper platform, a proprietary, fully automated, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition manufacturing platform developed entirely at Sencera. Recent innovations on The Viper have improved cell absorption of both blue and red light sections of the solar spectrum, resulting in the conversion of more light to electricity, the company says.
After two rounds of equity financing, Sencera has now fully funded its first manufacturing line without incurring debt. Initial company plans include production of a 7% efficient, 106 W single-junction amorphous silicon module at the company's 35 MW solar module factory under construction in Charlotte.