David Kirkpatrick

September 21, 2009

Silicon ink solar cells

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:41 pm

Created with via inkjet and fairly efficient. Looks like all the solar innovations announced over the last few years are beginning to bear real-world fruit.

From the link:

A California company is using silicon ink patterned on top of silicon wafers to boost the efficiency of solar cells. The Sunnyvale, CA, firm Innovalight says that the inkjet process is a cheaper route to more-efficient solar power. Using this process, the company has made cells with an efficiency of 18 percent.

Inkjet solar: The inkjet printing process allows Innovalight to make silicon wafers that are thin enough to bend.
Credit: Innovalight

Innovalight has partnered with solar-cell manufacturerJA Solar, headquartered in Shanghai, which plans to integrate the inkjet printing technology into its manufacturing lines. The resulting solar cells should be on the market by next year.

It’s possible to increase the efficiency of solar cells by patterning silicon in a way that improves the absorption of high-energy, short-wavelength light. But this usually requires adding several etching steps to the manufacturing process, and this type of cell architecture “costs a lot of money to make using standard procedures,” says Homer Antoniadis, chief technology officer at Innovalight.

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