June 16 (SeeNews) - US company Rayton Solar Inc said today it has raised more than USD 1 million (EUR 889,000) in seed funding for the next steps in the market launch of its solar cell technology.
The company has already produced working solar photovoltaic (PV) cells using its patented process that requires 1/50 to 1/100 less silicon than the industry standard. The financing secured so far will get Rayton Solar through the UL certification process and allow the firm to sell its product in the US.
A large, unnamed residential installer has agreed to buy Rayton’s product once it commences production, the company noted.
The patented technology uses a particle accelerator, virtually a laser beam. It blasts H+ protons straight into a silicon ingot, attaches the silicon to a substrate, exfoliates directly off the ingot with zero silicon waste, then conducts screen-print wiring and finalises the solar cells with anti reflective coatings. The ready cells then go through conventional module assembly lines.
Rayton Solar uses only 4 microns of silicon with zero waste in the manufacturing process, in contrast to conventional wafers that are over 200 microns thick and waste over 60% of the raw material. The fact that it needs significantly less silicon in cell production allows Rayton to cost effectively use Float Zone Silicon -- a higher grade silicon that is 25% more efficient than the industry standard but also much more expensive.
“The 60% cost reduction allows US-based manufacturing to be cost competitive with solar panels made abroad,” the company said.