Have you heard of Suniva? If not, you should get to know them. They are a green technology manufacturing company located here in Georgia. With new revolutinary technology, Suniva is planning to change the way solar panels are made. Named Greentechmedia's top 10 start-ups, Suniva is ready to go.
For the past few years, shortage has been the name of the game for silicon PV. A globally constrained supply chain has created legions of polysilicon producers in China, spawned the growth of thin-film as a commercially viable alternative, and sent numerous PV companies back to the lab to cost-engineer silicon cells, wafers and ingots. Out of this effort has come a number of companies claiming declining wafer thickness or climbing conversion efficiencies. Suniva, on the other hand, has dug into its mighty bag of tricks to produce a PV cell with both qualities.
Suniva founder Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, director of Georgia Tech’s University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics, IEEE Fellow, and holder of U.S. Patent No. 5,520,271 – “Processes for Producing Low Cost High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells,” is our dream founder. Using his research, the Georgia Tech spinoff is working its way toward commercializing PV cells a mere 100 microns thick with conversion efficiencies topping 18 percent. While not quite SunPower levels, Rohatgi believes he can broach the 20 percent barrier by 2010.
Suniva has done more than promise a breakthrough technology. The company has raised $55.5 million over two rounds since 2007, and is now in the planning phase for its commercial plant. The 25 MW facility will feature automated assembly lines for cell production with costs declining below $1 per watt as efficiencies improve. CEO John Baumstark is already predicting $10 million in revenues during 2008, with plans to hit profitability in 2009 on sales topping $100 million.