US startup developing perovskite-silicon tandem panels with 26% efficiency


From pv magazine USA

California-based Tandem PV, a startup company developing mechanically-stacked, four-terminal, perovskite-silicon modules, announced a $9.09 million (USD 6 million) venture funding round. The company, which was founded in 2016, said it will use the funds to accelerate towards commercialisation, investing in research and development and plans for its first manufacturing facility.

The round was led by existing investor Planetary Technologies, an early-stage venture capital firm, joined by new compatriot investor Uncorrelated Ventures.

The new capital is a validation of the venture’s progress in terms of stability, power conversion efficiency, and module size, according to Tandem PV, CEO, Scott Wharton. “Everyone talks about durability and stability, but we are able to demonstrate it,” he told pv magazine.

“Our indoor tests are showing 80% performance after 25 years equivalent. The encapsulated tandem module’s power conversion efficiency is 26% with conventional PERC cells,” said Wharton, adding that the modules measure 100 cm2, with newer ones at 300 cm2.

The company did not provide more details about the module and cell technology.

Tandem PV is one of multiple teams using the US Department of Energy’s PV Accelerator for Commercialising Technologies (PACT) for independent performance and reliability testing for all varieties of perovskite PV modules and mini modules, including field testing.

To date, the company has raised $40.9 million in venture capital and government support. It expects the latest financing round to help bring in customer agreements and to begin building the first plant. The next steps for this year are third-party validation of the performance metrics, specifically efficiency and durability, and to take part in outdoor testing programs.

The performance tests are the latest step that seven-year-old Tandem PV is taking toward commercializing its mechanically stacked panels. It has fabricated 100 cm2 panels which have passed IEC 61215 accelerated tests with academic partners, and has received initial data on passing triple-length duration IEC 61215 tests, as Colin Bailie, CTO, told pv magazine in a 2023 interview.

The initial application Tandem PV will target is utility-scale PV.

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