Thursday, March 27, 2008

MIT Professor Improves Solar Cell 27%, Cuts Costs at the Same Time

Massachusetts (TGW) – An MIT researcher claims he can improve the efficiency of multicrystalline silicon solar cells by 27% at a cheaper cost.

solar power

The claims are based on tests done on extremely small solar cells by Professor Emanuel Sachs and his startup, 1366 Technologies.

Commercial solar cells made from multicrystalline silicon are normally far less efficient than more expensive ones made from single-crystal silicon, but they're cheaper. The 27% improvement will bring the efficiency to be about 19.5%.

Sachs says this new research will bring down the cost of solar from today at $2.10 a watt to at least $1.65 a watt. With further research, he says, the cost could go down even further to $1.30 a watt.

To achieve this new efficiency, 1366 Technologies did three things: adding texture to the surface of the cells that allows the silicon to absorb more light, using less silver wire (adds efficiency and cuts costs), and etching the surfaces of other wires that connect energy so they act as mirrors.

Via :: Technology Review


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