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Energy Innovations, the solar gear maker that sprung out of Bill Gross’ Idealab, announced a few milestones this morning. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company says its solar concentrator photovoltaic product, the Sunflower, has been certified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which the company claims is the first concentrator PV gear to achieve such a certification. Energy Innovations says as a result of the certification, the company will now raise more money to help start commercial installations of the Sunflower in 2009.
Energy Innovations is one of more than a dozen companies beginning to ramp up the business of solar concentrating photovoltaics (check out our 13 Startups Working on Solar-Concentrating PV). This technology uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight hundreds of times onto tiny, highly efficient solar cells. The systems are meant to cut back on one of the most expensive parts of traditional PV: the silicon-based solar panel.
Energy Innovation’s PV system concentrates sunlight more than 1,000 times and uses ultra-high efficiency triple-junction solar cells; EI says its cell is more than 35 percent efficient. The system can be installed on both commercial rooftops and ground-mounted applications. While we’re not sure which investors will be leading Energy Innovations next round, the investment likely will include backing from the company’s dotcom-entrepreneur-turned-cleantech-investor Gross and his Idealab incubator, as well as current investor Mohr Davidow.