Energy Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: EFOI), a global leader in energy efficient lighting, has entered into a $3.1M, two-year contract with the DuPont-University of Delaware Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) Consortium as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded effort to deliver advanced solar research to enable high efficiency, low cost photovoltaics.
DARPA recently began the second two-year phase of a four-year program with the VHESC consortium to raise the system power efficiency of a new class of solar modules to 40% and to deliver manufacturable engineering prototype modules.
The modules under development by the VHESC team use an optical ‘spectrum splitting’ system that directs light from the sun into different paths corresponding to the color of the light, and concentrates the light onto photovoltaic cells that cover different segments of the solar spectrum. The technology could boost rooftop power three-fold over silicon, it is said.
DARPA is developing the VHESC solar module technology for compact renewable energy to power both permanent and mobile bases, as well as to reduce the considerable logistical burden of supplying energy (e.g., batteries and fuel) to the U.S. military in the field.