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Who said academic egg-heads can’t craft compelling business plans? Xunlight, a developer of cheap, flexible thin-film silicon solar modules, has capped off a $22 million second round of funding, led by Trident Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures and NGP Energy Technology Partners.

Emerald Technology Ventures led the first $7 million round last year, which enabled Xunlight to build a roll-to-roll pilot production facility. The company was founded as a spin-off from the University of Toledo, its academic partner, and commercialized its flexible solar module technology with assistance from Ohio’s Third Frontier Project.

Proceeds from the second round will be used to build commercial-scale facilities for the production of its lightweight thin film PV modules. It renamed its commercial entity Xunlight 26 Solar (X26).

Xunming Deng, the company’s founder and CEO, set the world record for efficiency of single-junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) based solar cells, the cheapest form of silicon solar cells: 10.4%. Xunlight also produces triple-junction solar cells, which are costlier but have higher efficiencies. Its PV modules, which are made with flexible lamination, can be rolled during transport. They come in a range of output sizes: 7.5W, 20W, 100W or 200W.

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