SOLAR JUNCTION LOGOWell, it’s apparently not a done deal yet, but it’s close enough that Solar Junction has released an announcement about the deal. “Silicon Valley-based Solar Junction, a developer of high-efficiency multi-junction solar energy cells for the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) market, is in contract negotiation along with IQE – the leading global supplier of semiconductor wafers – for the development of next-generation satellite solar cells for the European Space Agency,” that press release stated.

If you’re not familiar with Solar Junction, it has set record after record for solar cell efficiency, using innovative multi-junction technology.

The first time I wrote about the company, it had set a solar cell efficiency record of 40.9%. Since then, it has broken its own record a few times, getting up to 44% efficiency today.

Naturally, panel space is is precious out in… outer space. So, while the tradeoff between efficiency and price may not yet make Solar Junction competitive in residential, commercial, and utility markets; it apparently does in space markets.

Regarding the European Space Agency news, Jim Weldon, CEO of Solar Junction, said: “Solar Junction and IQE have been working closely for the past year as strategic manufacturing partners of the world’s most efficient multi-junction solar cells. Our dilute nitride technology and high-efficiency roadmap is a proven and sustainable pathway for present and future space and terrestrial applications. Winning this contract proves that we’re on-track. We’re proud to be the best solution for the European Space Agency.”

I recommend you scroll through the links above for more information on Solar Junction. But for an overview from the company itself, here’s its “About Solar Junction” statement:

“Founded in 2007, Solar Junction is a commercial-ready manufacturer of the industry’s highest-efficiency solar cells and receivers for CPV systems. It’s the only company in the solar manufacturing industry to offer a complete design, test, develop, deploy, and service platform, which includes testing, production, and a complete software suite – all manufactured at their headquarters in San Jose, CA. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Advanced Technology Ventures, and IQE. By partnering with IQE in February 2012, Solar Junction significantly scaled up manufacturing.”