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New Design to Reduce Solar Manufacturing Costs

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 13, 2012 08:23 AM
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by Joshua S Hill last modified Jan 12, 2012

Solar cell technology company Solar3D has announced today a design breakthrough that they say will substantially reduce the cost of mass producing their revolutionary solar cell technology capable of maximizing the conversion of sunlight into electricity.




 

 

Solar cell technology company Solar3D has announced today a design breakthrough that they say will substantially reduce the cost of mass producing their revolutionary solar cell technology capable of maximizing the conversion of sunlight into electricity.

“This is the type of design breakthrough that makes me proud to be working with innovative engineers and scientists,” Jim Nelson, president and CEO of Solar3D, said in a press announcement.

According to Nelson, the original 3D cell was designed with two stages where light collecting elements, made from glass or polymer, were coupled with 3-dimensional light trapping micro-photovoltaic structures made on a silicon wafer. “This original design allowed us to achieve high-efficiency. However, integrating two different types of materials and elements into a single cell manufacturing process is costly.”

Ergo, changes were made.

“We challenged our technical team to come up with an improved design that will allow for low-cost manufacturing. The result is an elegant single element design where the light collecting function is creatively merged into the micro-photovoltaic structures on a single silicon wafer. We believe that our improved design can be manufactured in a single silicon wafer processing line, instead of a complex multi-material process. In the world of PV, every step of manufacturing process adds a significant cost component. We are very excited about our new design breakthrough and expect our manufacturing cost to be dramatically reduced.”

According to Solar3D, the new technology was “inspired by light management techniques used in fiber optic devices, the company’s innovative solar cell technology utilizes a 3-dimensional design to trap sunlight inside micro-photovoltaic structures where photons bounce around until they are converted into electrons.

Solar3D management team hopes this breakthrough can dramatically alter the economics of solar energy production. Their next step is to find themselves a fabrication partner, probably from the semiconductor industry.

If successful, this will be very good news for renewable energy champions.

Source: Solar3D via Business Wire
Image Source: Solar 3D



 

 

 
 
 

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