Dec 2, 2013 - US Natcore Technology (CVE:NXT) said today it intended to buy a versatile laser for its research and development centre in New York as part of a plan to develop a low-temperature process for solar cell manufacturing.
The solar cell technology firm explained that by using a laser it would be able to heat only that portion of the wafer that has to be heated in an effort to produce more efficient solar cells. For comparison, the method used at present by many photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers involves heating the whole silicon wafer to between 800 and 900 degrees Celsius, which sometimes damages the silicon. Another advantage of the laser method is the significant reduction of energy consumption.
Natcore said that the laser it intends to use can be manipulated in order to identify the optimum conditions. The company is partnering with the laser producer to process an initial set of samples to speed up Natcore's schedule.
At the end of October, Natcore said that according to independent analysts its black silicon technology for solar cell making could cut production costs by as much as 23.5%. The company explained that its black silicon process could achieve costs of some USD 0.13 (EUR 0.096) per watt. This compares to USD 0.17/watt for the conventional solar cell manufacturing process that includes the removal of saw damage in purchased wafers.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.738)
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