Tandem PV in $6m boost for perovskite solar cells

Tandem PV in $6m boost for perovskite solar cells

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Tandem PV in the US has raised $6m to commercialise its perovskite solar cell technology and start building a factory.

The Tandem PV design boosts the output of conventional silicon solar cells by stacking them with thin-film perovskite materials that absorb different wavelengths of sunlight. The company is producing tandem perovskite panels with 26% efficiency, driving down the cost per watt of solar power, and has raised a total to $27 million in venture capital and government support.

Tandem PV has demonstrated the equivalent of decades of projected durability in the lab. The company plans to obtain independent industry-standard validation of efficiency and durability, expected to rise further, during 2024.

The company was founded by its CTO, Colin Bailie, who published early peer-reviewed studies on perovskite-silicon tandem solar panels as a Stanford University doctoral candidate. Tandem co-founder Chris Eberspacher is an industry pioneer who has led technology at some of the world’s largest solar companies.

Bailie and Eberspacher launched the company in 2016 while at Activate (formerly Cyclotron Road), the U.S. Dept. of Energy startup accelerator at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Several companies are commercialising tandem perovskite solar cells, including Oxford PV. The company has a manufacturing plant in Germany and showed an efficiency of 28.6% in a large tandem panel in May 2023.

The funding round for Tandem PV was led by existing investor Planetary Technologies, an early-stage venture capital firm with deep expertise in climate tech. Other institutional investors participated, including new investor Uncorrelated Ventures, as well as executives from a variety of corporate sectors including Tom Werner, former chairman, president and CEO of SunPower Corp.

“We have been consistently told by some of the world’s foremost solar industry experts that Tandem PV has the best combination of high efficiency and durability of any perovskite panel in commercial development,” said Scott Wharton, CEO of Tandem who was brought in last summer to drive the commercialisation efforts. “The new investments validate that leadership position in the global perovskite market and will help us bring in customer agreements to begin building our first plant.”

Wharton joined Tandem PV from Logitech, where he grew the company’s video collaboration business from $62m to over $1bn and has led three successful startups, including two that went public, and one he founded that was sold to a Fortune 500 company.


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