Semprius Opens North Carolina Factory


Semprius claims module efficiency of 33.9 percent by concentrating sunlight at a factor of 1,000 onto multi-junction cells. Photo: Siemens

Semprius in September opened a factory in Henderson, N.C., to build concentrating photovoltaic arrays with a claimed module efficiency of 33.9 percent.

The company achieves this conversion efficiency by concentrating sunlight at a factor of 1,000, on tiny (650 microns) epitaxially transferred multi-junction cells from Solar Junction. Focus is accomplished with an array of ball-shaped lenses on two-axis trackers, capable of 0.4-degree acceptance. The cell-printing technology was developed in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The initial annual production capacity is said to be 5 megawatts, but Semprius says it will hire more than 250 employees over the next several years with the goal of producing 35 MW. The company has raised almost $40 million from equity investors including ARCH Venture Partners, Illinois Ventures, Intersouth Partners, In-Q-Tel, Morgan Creek Capital Management and Siemens Venture Capital. In addition, Semprius was awarded North Carolina and Vance County incentives totaling almost $8 million.

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