Tandem solar cells using silicon cells as their base will break through the efficiency barrier of single-junction silicon, reduce costs per Watt at every level of production from silicon wafers to installed power plants.
Tandem Solar: Silicon Beyond 30 percent
Company name: Malachite Technologies, San Francisco, California
Malachite Technologies is an equipment provider. We are developing processes and hardware that will allow wafer silicon solar cell producers to upgrade lines to produce III-V/silicon tandems. By adding less than one micron of thin film to a mostly conventional silicon cell, the power output of the cell will be increased by about 50 percent (10 percent points, absolute efficiency), resulting in modules of over 25 percent.
How it changes the world
The easy cost reductions in solar energy were achieved by investing in scaling up the industry. Those days are over. Explosive growth, though, will happen when solar offers pricing at grid parity and below. There is a technology path, clear and present, that can lead solar to the next phase of growth. Tandem solar cells using silicon cells as their base will break through the efficiency barrier of single-junction silicon, reduce costs per watt at every level of production from silicon wafers to installed power plants, and hasten the time when solar is no longer an ‘alternative’ energy source.
If you win?
Malachite is an early-stage company with a talented team ready to get to work on establishing proof of concept results. A win at the Global Forum will immediately end our first round of fundraising and move us into a technology-focused period during which we will generate the hard data that will truly launch the tandem on silicon solar cell.
Memorable Cleantech Open moment?
I met a lot of people during the Cleantech Open Academy. Every person, every team, had a story brought back from a future that they had imagined. The excitement, the fearlessness, the palpable need to share what they had seen and hoped to see again has been inspiring. To stand alone and say “I have seen what the future looks like” makes one feel – and probably look – a little crazy. To stand in the middle of a large hotel banquet room with hundreds of others all saying “I have seen what the future looks like” makes one feel – and probably look – a little like the future itself.