New Technologies Rise Silicon Cell Efficiency

By on September 15th, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:45

ElySachs0514_9-11-06_270x414The company called 1366 Technologies announced it has the capability of producing  more efficient solar – silicon based – cells, that could be available in two years.  Their new set of developments, condensed under the label Self-Aligned Cell (SAC), will be covered in more detail by the the company’s officials on Monday . It promises to raise the solar cell efficiency from the current 15% state,  to 18%, with the hope of adding one more unit in the next nine months, reaching 19%.

1366 Technologies doesn’t produce solar panels itself, but sells machinery to other corporations interested. Their goal and hope is that the new technologies they developed will help make the world less dependent on natural gas, coal and that efficient solar panels will be the primary component for providing worlds electrical energy demands.

But the company isn’t the first one to break the 15% solar cell efficiency barrier. Their breakthrough is that the new technologies can be applied on actual, existing processes and that they complete each other to make a more efficient, reliable product.

One of the processes involves creating a three-dimensional design on the solar cells that keeps the sunlight longer on the cell, in order to captivate more of its energy.

The other method, named surface metallization, is used to reduce the size of the wires on the solar cell from 12o microns to 30 microns. This feat was possible with the introduction of a different printing technique than the usual screen-printing one, namely through electroplating. With this new technology more wires can be inserted on the cell and thus, improving the overall performance of the panel. The current silver wires are to be replaced with copper ones, the company hopes.

[Source: CNet]


Posted in category solar power
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