USA: Solar3D Inc., the developer of a breakthrough 3-dimensional solar cell technology to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity, announced that the fabrication of the next prototype of its next generation silicon solar cell is underway.
Dr. Changwan Son, Solar3D's director of Technology, commented: "When we completed our first prototype, we were thrilled with the results. We achieved more power, relative to current technology, that we dared to hope. As we continue our work, we have discovered a number of ways to fine-tune our process so the product will produce even more power, and be less expensive to manufacture. As we fabricate the new prototype, I am confident we will see increasingly better results."
Solar3D's first prototype exceeded management's expectations in dramatic fashion -- producing 250 percent of the power of a conventional solar cell fabricated under the same conditions. Two powerful characteristics of the Solar3D Cell make it superior to current technology.
First, it is substantially more efficient in producing power. Second, is a wide-angle light collection feature, which allows the Cell to collect light at more times of the day, month, and year, and in times of diffused light -- such as on cloudy days. This attribute is unique in the solar world.
Solar3D filed its Patent Cooperation Treaty international application on the product, its unique features, and the manufacturing process last month.
"Our team is not satisfied, even with the initial extraordinary results," said Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D. "We believe in continuous improvement. Changwan and his team continue to refine the process and product to get the optimal result. This discipline will put us in an excellent position to execute our pilot manufacturing run later this year -- and accelerate commercialization in 2014."
Dr. Son continued: "Our mandate is to create a solar cell that would produce substantially more power than the current technology at a low enough cost of production to deliver a markedly lower cost per watt of solar electricity. We are making our positive initial results even better. We now forecast that the result of our work will be at least 50 percent reduction in the cost of solar electricity. The installed system cost savings may be even greater."
Nelson concluded: "We are focused on bringing this breakthrough technology to market. We are on our way to the next major step -- the production of a manufacturing prototype, which is required to undertake a pilot production run this year. The pilot run will prove the 3D Cell's performance characteristics in a production environment and lead us to a manufacturing partner and entry into the marketplace by 2014."