Oct 30, 2013 - US solar cell technology firm Natcore Technology (CVE:NXT) said today that according to independent analysts its black silicon technology for solar cell making can cut production costs by as much as 23.5%.
“We feel so optimistic about this development that we've begun making plans to take our technology to market,” said Natcore president and chief executive Chuck Provini.
The company explained that its black silicon process could achieve costs of some USD 0.13 (EUR 0.094) per watt. This compares to USD 17/watt for the conventional solar cell manufacturing process that includes the removal of saw damage in purchased wafers, the texturising of the wafer surface and the application of an antireflective coating. Natcore’s black silicon process allows solar cell makers to substitute the texture etch with a black silicon etch which in itself forms an antireflective coating.
Natcore explained that the key to the lower expenses associated with its proprietary method lies in the fact that it does not require the costly high-temperature chemical vapor deposition of a silicon nitride antireflective coating.
The measurements have been made by a team of analysts using a "bottom up" manufacturing cost estimating methodology. Natcore said that no silane, a highly toxic gas, had been used in the testing of the black silicon process on monocrystalline silicon.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.726)
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