Sep 5, 2012 - US solar cell technology developer Solar3D Inc (OTC:SLTD) said Wednesday it had produced a working prototype of its three-dimensional silicon solar cell that generates "at least 250% of the power of a basic silicon solar cell".
Changwan Son, Solar3D's director of technology, said that the performance of the working prototype exceeded the company’s expectations in terms of productivity.
Son said that the company had spent the first half of the year developing a fabrication process methodology before producing the first cell in July. Now, the announcement of a working cell completes the company’s two-part goal, he added. In the near term, Solar3D hopes to be able to improve its fabrication process and the output of its cells as well as reduce manufacturing costs. Son said the company was convinced that a 50% cut in the cost of solar electricity was a realistic goal for it technology.
Looking ahead towards market launch, the company will now focus on the production of a manufacturing prototype, which is to undertake a pilot production run at the beginning of next 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 the end of 2013," said chief executive Jim Nelson.
The company’s technology is based on two patent-pending innovations in the production of its single wafer silicon solar cell -- the collection of light from a wider angle and high conversion efficiency. The Solar3D cell captures more light in low-light conditions such as morning and evening hours and winter months. Its three-dimensional design allows greater electricity generation efficiency thanks to the bouncing of sunlight inside photovoltaic microstructures.
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