1366 Technologies,a photovoltaics start-up company based in Massachusetts, won fourmillion dollars in federal funding from the the U.S. Department ofEnergy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
The first ARPA-E solicitation was extremely competitive with over3,600 applications from across the country. Evaluations were based onthe potential for high impact on ARPA-E’s goals and scientific andtechnical merit. 1366 Technologies was the only photovoltaics (PV)company selected to receive funding. In particular, 1366 Technologieswas selected for their Direct Wafer technology that formshigh-efficiency ‘monocrystalline-equivalent’ silicon wafers directlyfrom molten silicon, with the potential to slash the cost of PVinstallations by half.
“For over 35 years, silicon PV has been hobbled by high costs anddifficulties in scaling due to expensive wafering. Our Direct Wafertechnology solves the wafering problem with a breakthroughmanufacturing solution that is compatible with today’s supply chain,”said Frank van Mierlo, co-founder and president of 1366 Technologies.“This funding will allow us to accelerate the development and scalingof Direct Wafer, which will have strong implications for thecompetitiveness of the U.S. PV industry and provide a basis for futureeconomic growth and jobs”.
1366 Technologies also recently unveiled the ground breakingSelf-Aligned Cell (SAC) architecture, with innovative cell texturingand metallization design to deliver simpler, more commercially-viablesolutions for multi-crystalline cell manufacturers striving to achieve18 percent cell efficiency.