For years, solar companies have been on the hunt for more efficient solar cells that can produce more energy than conventional panels are generating. Solar3D Inc. has paved the way by developing a breakthrough in 3rd dimensional solar cell technology, which will improve the conversion of direct sunlight into electricity. The company has completed a thorough simulation analysis, which compared conventional solar cells and its breakthrough technology. The result sees Solar3D’s initiative producing 200 percent more power output than solar cells currently in the market.
Solar3D’s ground breaking single wafer silicon cell is inspired by three dimensional designs with two unique and powerful features; high conversion efficiency and wide angle light collection. The cell has a wide angle on the surface which captures more light even in winter or when the sun isn’t shining overhead. It also uses another 3D design to maximize electricity generation by capturing sunlight inside the photovoltaic microstructures where photons bounce around till they are converted into electrons. Both these features are joined into a single solar cell design to convey exceptional performance.
The biggest challenge faced by solar cells is light reflection. As sunlight hits conventional cells from off angles, photons are reflected away. Making matters worse, conventional cells become less efficient if sunlight is not within a narrow range of incident angles.
Solar3D has not an inch of doubt that their design can reduce this problem. The company is currently developing a prototype of their 3D solar cell by using silicon. Earlier, solar pioneers made use of expensive materials like cadmium which reduced the feasibility of PVs for production. But Solar3D is of the view that using silicon, which is abundant, will make manufacturing of solar cells more viable.
Considering many solar companies use silicon for their own PVs, it remains to be seen just how effective Solar3D’s technology will be in making silicon-based cells more efficient.