Solar3D, a company that is developing a breakthrough 3-dimensional solar cell technology to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity, today announced a design modification that enables its super-efficient solar cell to collect sunlight from a wider angle than conventional solar cells. A patent application has been filed on the new design element.
“This major breakthrough combined with our record-setting high efficiency design can result in a solar cell that can produce 200% of the power of conventional silicon solar cells,” said Jim Nelson, President and CEO of Solar3D.
“Conventional solar cells become dramatically less efficient if the sun is not shining within a narrow range of incident angles. Sunlight that hits the cell outside of this range will be reflected off, and the reduced solar energy causes the cell’s internal efficiency to drop. Because of a unique wide-angle design, our solar cell can maintain its high efficiency over a wider range of incident angles. It can capture more light in the morning and evening hours, as well as in the winter months when the sun is not directly overhead.”
This significant efficiency increase is made possible by a special design on the cell surface that collects sunlight over a wide range of angles. The collected light is then forced into 3-dimensional photovoltaic micro-structures beneath the cell surface that trap the light and convert it into electricity.
As the sun moves across the sky, throughout the day or year, the Solar3D cell will be able to maintain its high conversion efficiency, as if the sun was directly above it.
“This new design element serves to lower the Total Cost of Ownership of a solar power system by allowing it to capture more sunlight and produce more electricity,” added Nelson.
“Even though our cells’ internal conversion efficiency is already 50% more than that of conventional solar cells, we believe we are even more efficient if we compare the total power output per day. By that measure, our cell can produce as much as twice as much power than conventional solar cells.”