CPV News Brief 11 – 25 November, 2014

Soitec on path to breaking another solar cell record

Soitec is anticipating to release soon a new world record in conversion...

Companies mentioned: Soitec, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, NREL, SK Innovation

CPV News Brief 11 – 25 November, 2014

Soitec on path to breaking another solar cell record

Soitec, France’s advanced electronic materials and concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology specialist, has hinted at the development of another record-breaking solar cell, it was reported by Optics.org.

In an announcement buried in the details of its latest financial update, the Bernin firm stated: “Efforts dedicated to the development and commercialization of a next-generation high-efficiency solar cell continue to develop and Soitec is anticipating to release soon a new world record in conversion efficiency of its proprietary four-junction solar cell.”

Last year, Soitec partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg to fabricate a 44.7 per cent efficient cell – adding that it should be possible to reach as high as 50 per cent with the four-junction approach.

According to the latest figures from NREL in the US, this remains the world’s most efficient research-grade cell for now, just ahead of a triple-junction device developed by Japan's Sharp that is based on a so-called “inverted metamorphic” structure, said the news report.

Tracker market to be $2.14bn industry by 2020

The global solar tracker market is expected to reach US$2.14bn by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, thanks to predicted demand from Latin America projects.

Europe continued its dominance in global solar tracker market and accounted for over 28% of the total installed capacity in 2013.

Increasing environmental norms and governmental regulations for using conventional fossil fuels were major factors that led to the development of solar power plants. The increasing acreages of solar power plants further boosted the solar tracker market growth.

Latin America is anticipated to be the fastest growing regional market, said the report, at an estimated CAGR of 22.5% from 2014 to 2020. Increasing demand for electricity and rising concerns for sustainable and renewable energy, especially in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina is anticipated to augment the solar tracker market growth over the next six years.

Soitec and SK Innovation to collaborate on advanced semiconductor materials

Semiconductor and CPV Projectspecialist, Soitec, and SK Innovation (SKI), a Korean specialist in the fields of energy, lubricants, petrochemicals, organic materials, information electronic materials, and lithium-ion batteries, have signed a Collaboration Agreement (CA) to establish a strategic alliance focused on accelerating innovation in the area of semiconductor materials for information communication technologies and internet-of-things applications.

The collaborative partnership will build on the synergy between the companies.

At the outset, the alliance will focus on innovating engineered substrates and the processes for fabricating these materials. The partners’ joint goal is to bring the first products to market by early 2017 in applications. Soitec is betting on these breakthrough products to allow it to grow its global market presence.

“Our partnership gives SK Innovation and Soitec the power to develop new materials and very quickly bring innovations to market,”said Carlos Mazure, Soitec’s chief technical officer. “This is a very important first step for Soitec as we team up with Korea’s leader in energy and materials development to leverage our two companies’ strong synergies.”

“This alliance is in line with SKI’s roadmap towards new business opportunities in inorganic materials and fits well with SK Group’s strengths,”said Byong-sung Kwak, president of Global Technology and chief technical officer of SK Innovation.

Although the first phase of the agreement targets semiconductor materials development, the alliance could be extended to include manufacturing and commercial development.