USA: SolarPA has developed a process of using nanocoatings utilizing 3-7 nm proprietary nanomaterials to increase the efficiency of solar cells by as much as 12 percent.
Previously, the start-up had achieved a 10 percent increase in efficiency on both crystalline and thin-film solar cells using an electrospinning process. New achievements have demonstrated a 12 percent increase in efficiency using a spin-on process, which embeds the nanomaterial in a polymer matrix that can be deposited with conventional spin-on or spray-on equipment.
The technology replaces existing antireflection coatings (ARC) using SiN deposited by expensive vacuum CVD processes, thus lowering the processing cost as well as increasing the efficiency.
While thin film solar cells do not used ARC, SolarPA’s technology serves as a replacement for an expensive vacuum deposited microcrystalline thin film that most companies are experimenting with but largely unsuccessfully.
From the research to date, SolarPA coatings can increase the efficiency of solar cells up to three times greater than existing technologies on the merchant market. XeroCoat, Redwood City, CA and Brisbane, Australia, for example (www.xerocoat.com), received $2.96 million in funding from the US Department of Energy in July 2009 and its product increases the efficiency of a solar cell by 3 percent, whereas our nanoparticle SolarPA coating has been shown to increase the efficiency by 12 percent.