July 16, 2013 – Solar3D, Inc. today announced that its newest prototype is producing almost 10% more power than the earlier version its advanced solar cell.
"This new prototype is a leap forward for us," said Changwan Son, Director of Technology for Solar3D. "By using thinner silicon, we have less waste and yield more efficiency—producing almost 10% more power than our original prototype. And by fine-tuning the 3-dimensional light collecting structures in our solar cell, we are able to collect even more light at wider angles than the original version."
The initial 2012 prototype design was calculated to produce just over 25% efficiency.
"The new prototype moves us closer to our goal of completing a commercial prototype for pilot manufacturing runs. It also confirms our hypothesis that there is still more power to extract from silicon," said Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D. "As we push the limits of solar conversion in silicon, it is becoming clear that our wide angle collection feature is the new way to get more electricity out by collecting more light in. We believe the combination of high efficiency and wide angle collection is the key to lowering the cost per watt of silicon solar cells and the widespread adoption of solar technology."
Inspired by light management techniques used in fiber optic devices, the company's new solar cell technology utilizes a 3-dimensional design to trap sunlight inside micro-photovoltaic structures where photons bounce around until they are converted into electrons. Solar3D's working, proof-of-concept prototype of its new solar cell has prepared the firm to focus on the new product's commercialization—leading them to the current discussions.