Oxford PV gets more investment in fresh round of funding

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There are few research areas of the solar PV industry more exciting than perovskite technology, as predictions from those involved in the field claim the technology will eventually be able to increase solar cell performance by 30%. There are of course the naysayers, who still see the instability of the technology as a major hurdle, but Oxford PV believes that it is well on its way to solving this problem.

Proof of the success that Oxford PV is enjoying in its research is the consistent investment that it has managed to attract. In fact, it has generated GBP 21.3 million (USD 27 million) in equity investment over the last 18 months. The most recent influx of investment came during the first portion of a Series C funding round, which saw GBP 8.7 million invested from new and existing shareholders.

The funding is being used to feed the company’s perovskite research, with the ultimate goal of bringing it to full commercialization for the solar PV market. Some of the funding has already gone towards the development of a demonstration line to show the technology to PV manufacturers.

“We are gratified to have attracted not only reinvestment from many of our current shareholders but we have added some new and substantial ones with the promise of yet more funding later this year,” commented Oxford PV Chairman David Fyfe. “This is a tribute to the achievement of key strategic goals by the management team.”

Game changing technology

The perovskite technology that Oxford PV is working on is a thin film layer that is applied on top of a silicon cell, working in tandem with the cell. The team at Oxford PV believes that it will be able to boost cell output by 30%.

During an interview with pv magazine earlier in the year, Oxford PV CTO Chris Case explained that it is a relatively inexpensive coating, and said that there has been a lot of interest in the company’s developments. The company believes that Oxford PV is leading the global development and commercialization of perovskite technology.

“Perovskite has the potential to radically improve the efficiency of solar PV and meet the world’s energy demand into the future,” said Oxford PV CEO Frank Averdung. “Our technology has already demonstrated the efficiency and stability necessary to engage commercially with major industry players and become a key part of enhancing solar energy supply in years to come. The investment will support Oxford PV as we take large steps towards commercialization.”

However, stability is the key. Much of the research community has struggled to meet the required material stability requirements of the solar industry. This is the chief concern of Oxford PV’s research.

“What we focus on is reliability,” Case explained to pv magazine. “We have achieved a compositional change that changes the bandgap. Fundamentally, we feel we have addressed the thermal stability concerns of the original perovskite material. Our material is different.”