19 Mar 2008
A Canada/US start-up predicts a bright future for high-efficiency solar cells in concentrator photovoltaic applications.
What is Cyrium's core technology?
Cyrium Technologies uses quantum dot nanotechnology to increase the performance of advanced multi-junction solar cells, optimizing material properties while preserving manufacturability and reliability.
"In multi-junction solar cells, multiple p-n junctions are stacked one on top of another to absorb a wider range of the solar spectrum, therefore reaching higher levels of conversion efficiency and hence more kWh per dollar when compared to single-junction silicon solar cells," explained Steve Eglash of Cyrium. "These multi-junction cells are used in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems that use small cells and focusing optics to reach higher levels of solar illumination influx."
Cyrium uses embedded quantum dots to modify the absorption spectral range of each III-V cell, matching the absorption of the device with the solar spectrum that reaches the Earth's surface.
What products does Cyrium sell?
"We are a pure-play manufacturer of solar cells for CPV systems," said Eglash. "Our products will include standard and custom bare chip and receiver (i.e. chip on submount) designs for our customers' systems."
What application areas does Cyrium target?
The company supplies solar cells to CPV module manufacturers. "Most CPV systems manufacturers are focused on commercial and utility scale plants (solar farms), but some are focused on the residential market," said Eglash.
What were the origins of the company?
Simon Fafard, founder and chief technology officer, started Cyrium to develop and apply nanotechnology to improve solar energy conversion.
What are your future plans?
"Cyrium plans to become the leader in high-performance, high volume, and low-cost high-efficiency multi-junction cells for concentrator photovoltaic applications."
Funding: Cyrium Technologies is a venture-backed startup. "Our investors are BDC, Chrysalix, Pangaea and Quercus," said Eglash. "We will be raising additional money later this year."
1200 Montreal Road, M50-IPF206,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (613) 482-3365
1250 Oakmead Parkway, Suite 210,
Sunnyvale, California, USA