Space based solar power goes terrestrial!

 

Emcore Corp, a leading supplier of space based solar power and communication systems has signed a contract to supply 60MW of solar power systems to Pod Generating Group in Ontario, Canada. From their space-based experience, Emcore has formed a Solar Power division to bring advanced technology to terrestrial applications.

On the ground, Emcore provides multi-junction solar cells that are combined into concentrator photovoltiac (CPV) arrays. CPV technology uses lens and mirrors to concentrate the solar power onto the multi-junction cell. The concentrator allow a cell 1 cm square to generate the same power as a 500 sq. cm of solar cells would without concentration. The use of low cost materials to manufacturer the concentrators make the arrays more cost effective than conventional silicon modules.

Emcore developed the first generation of CPV in 2006 and is working on gen II. It appears this sale to Pod Generating Group will be the first large scale application of their technology. Their different approach to solar power generation may make them a company to keep an eye on.

Emcore is a company with several lines of products in broadband, fiber optic, space and terrestrial solar power. The company’s stock trades on the NASDAQ with the symbol EMKR.

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