Canadian-based Day4 Energy has announced a major research breakthrough that could see its solar cell production costs reduced by up to 25%. The new design and manufacturing process for its Generation II solar cells will give the cells efficiency of up to 19% on mono-crystalline and 18% on multi-crystalline silicon materials (the average output of current solar cells is around 15%).
Day4 says the new design constitutes a significant improvement not only in maximizing efficiency, but also in low cost manufacturing and lower commercialization risk. The application of the Generation II photovoltaic (PV) cell technology for multi-crystalline products is particularly important because of the material’s lower price point and availability. The Generation II technology was designed to be fully compatible with Day4 Energy’s existing manufacturing equipment, enabling rapid deployment and scale-up. The company expects that a combination of the technology and manufacturing process will reduce production costs by up to 25% of what is currently possible with conventional technology.
Day4 Energy’s first generation MC module has been in commercial production since 2006 and achieves 14.7% efficiency. According to Professor Leonid Rubin, chief technology officer of Day4 Energy, “the second generation of our proprietary solar cell designs we are taking a major step towards making solar energy cost competitive with conventional sources of electrical power generation.” Day4 Energy expects to fast track commercialization of its high performance PV cell technology over the next 18 months and has recently filed a patent application in connection with this invention.
Via: Technology Review