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 that it will conduct a study of the economics and benefits of integrated Solar3D cells directly into roof tiles.
“We believe that over the next decade, rooftop PV applications—whether applied or embedded—will be among fastest growing of all solar market segments,” said Jim Nelson, president and CEO of Solar3D.
“The superior efficiency of our 3-dimensional solar cell is ideal for the space-constrained nature of a roof top. Additionally, because the roof tile is placed in a fixed orientation, the angle of the light being absorbed is constantly changing—which greatly diminishes the efficiency of sunlight conversion by the conventional solar cells. The Solar3D cell’s wide angle collection feature is unique in its ability to dramatically reduce the loss of efficiency resulting from the changing angle of the sunlight.”
The company intends to collaborate with Redwood Renewables, a solar roofing company, on this study to provide a first look at how the Solar3D silicon-based technology will perform in Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) applications. In theory, the super-efficient solar cell will allow space limited rooftops to provide more power. Also, the wide-angle collection design of the new solar cell appears to be well suited for installations with a fixed orientation, because of the ever-changing relative position of the sun.
Tom Faust, president of Redwood Renewables, said: “One of the biggest challenges in PV integrated roof tiles is low power output from conventional cells. Buildings using high efficiency PV roof tiles will not only generate electricity for immediate use, but may even help pay the mortgage after a short payback period.”
Nelson concluded: “The need for wide angle collection of light should be apparent to any person or organization that intends to install a solar power system. BIPV applications are a good example of such compelling products. By increasing the power output per tile using Solar3D cells, we can help companies like Redwood Renewables offer unique PV-embedded roof tiles to the housing and construction industry. Any application where direct tracking of the sun is difficult, whether it is portable or fixed, will have increased power using our solar cells.”