Oulu, Finland [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Optoelectronic materials supplier Braggone announced a new product line last week that the company says increases the efficiency of solar cells and allows manufacturing facilities to cost-effectively increase their capacity.
According to the company, by incorporating Braggone’s materials into the manufacturing process, the costs of manufacturing solar cells can be dramatically reduced.
The basic building block of solar cells, silicon, is very shiny and reflects about 30% of sunlight back into the sky. Solar companies trap this light by putting down very thin anti-reflective coatings to reduce the reflected light. To help trap as much photo energy and convert it into as much electricity as possible, the silicon must be either of very high purity or have very few defects. Over the years, this has been accomplished by introducing hydrogen into the manufacturing process. Until now, the anti-reflective and hydrogenation for advanced cells has been done with a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process.
“These optical and electrical layers were previously integrated into components through expensive and high maintenance CVD tools,” commented Dr. Yrjö Ojasaar, Braggone CEO. “Braggone can now introduce the same anti-reflective and hydrogenation techniques with a very simple and cost efficient spray coat, bake and repeat process. We are tuning the optics of the cell by introducing nanometer thick layers of our molecularly tailored materials. ”
“Essentially, we are minimizing the optical loss in solar cells and modules,” commented Dr. Paul Williams, VP of business development at Braggone. “We are capturing as much light as possible in the cells by taming the physics. With the new materials from Braggone not only do we have the capability to reduce the optical loss in the cell or module, but we can also improve the efficiency of electrical conversion within the cell. This has the real benefit to our technology users of driving down their production cost per megawatt output.”