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3D Si solar cell prototype unveiled

Posted: 07 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D silicon solar cell? prototype? grid parity?

Solar3D Inc. has successfully created a working 3D silicon solar cell that according to the company produces at least 250 percent of the power of a basic silicon solar cell. The developer of a 3D solar cell technology aims to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity, the company noted.

"When measured relative to a conventional solar cell design, our working prototype produces electricity beyond our previous expectations. First, we fabricated our working prototype. Then we created a simple cell based on the conventional design, using the same fabrication environment, to serve as a control sample," stated Changwan Son, Solar3D's director of technology. "By measuring the side-by-side power output of both cells, we were able to determine the relative performance under a number of conditions, ranging from bright sunlight to lower, diffuse light. In each test, our 3D solar cell consistently outperformed the control cell and produced at least 2.5 times the amount of electricity under the same conditions."

"This is a game-changing result," noted Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D. "Two powerful characteristics of our 3D solar cell make it superior to current technology. First, it is substantially more efficient in producing power. Second, is our wide-angle light collection feature, which allows our 3D solar cell to collect light at all times of the day, month and year, an attribute unique in the solar world. Our computer simulation analysis indicated that the combination of these two features would produce double the power of a conventional solar cell. Based on the performance of our first working prototype, it appears that our 3D Solar Cell will exceed even that ambitious expectation. This device could be a giant leap forward, allowing solar power to achieve grid parity."

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