SANTA BARBARA, USA: Solar3D Inc., the developer of a breakthrough 3-dimensional solar cell technology to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity, today announced a design breakthrough that will substantially reduce the mass production cost of its new super-efficient solar cell.
“This is the type of design breakthrough that makes me proud to be working with innovative engineers and scientists,” said Jim Nelson, president and CEO of Solar3D. “Our original 3D cell was designed with two stages where light collecting elements, made from glass or polymer, are 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.”
Nelson continued: “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.”
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’s management believes that this breakthrough solar cell design will dramatically change the economics of solar energy.