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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – Venture capital backed will work with international giant Siemens Industry to jointly develop a demonstration project for potential use in the growing solar power industry.

Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

However, Semprius recently received a $3 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate commercial development of solar photovoltaic systems. The funding is coming through a photovoltaic incubator launched by the DOE.

The Semprius-Siemens project is to co-develop a “plug-and-play Demonstration system.”

The system will include Semprius’ proprietary solar panel technology plus Siemens automation and control solutions.

Siemens is positioning its system as a means of better generating power in sunny, dry climates for small to large scale projects.

Siemens already works with other companies in the photovoltaic sector and is a $31 billion company.

“Our PV module arrays will make the generation of solar power economically viable in clear, sunny climates found in many parts of the world,” said Joe Carr, chief executive officer at Semprius, in a statement. “We are excited about teaming with Siemens to demonstrate the value of this technology.”

Semprius is developing concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules to make solar power generation more economical.

According to the DOE, the contract calls for Semprius to “focus efforts towards a massively parallel, microcell-based CPV receiver. This approach combines the benefits of unique-to-solar manufacturing techniques with the performance and operational benefits of microcell concentrating photovoltaics.”

Semprius’ technology is centered around a patented manufacturing process that enables semiconductors to be printed onto glass, plastic or other materials for use in solar panels, liquid-crystal displays, advanced disk drivers and other devices.

Last summer, Semprius received a $500,000 grant from the DOE for use in helping commercialize its solar power technology.

Earlier this month, a German firm agreed to invest $1.5 million in Semprius.

Semprius also has raised some $11 million in venture funding. Investors include Durham-based Intersouth Partners and In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.