SCHOTT Reduces Cost and Silicon Needs with New Cell Coating

SCHOTT Solar announced today that its solar cells will be coated with a new texture that will increase efficiency, reduce the need for silicon and lower costs for its customers. According to the company, the product is raising efficiency by .3-.5% and reducing silicon by 5% per watt.

The development is another example of how manufacturers are working hard to reduce costs in the face of a silicon shortage.

“Introduction of the ISO Texture has meant that we have yet again been able to reliably increase the efficiency of the SCHOTT Solar module. For our customers that means high quality and even more power at an attractive price” explains Michael Harre, Management Committee Member at SCHOTT Solar, responsible for Marketing and Sales.

SCHOTT’s wet chemical process involves coating the cell with a surface structure called an ISO Texture, which “roughens” it, allowing for expanded surface area and a reduction in reflection. The company has been developing the product in it’s research laboratory for a couple years and has been producing modules with the coating in Germany for 6 months.

“Integrating this product did not change our process or the cell line design. We implemented this process into the existing lines and we retrofit the those lines part by part,” said Lars Waldmann of SCHOTT Solar.

Modules with the ISO Texture can currently be purchased in Germany, but won’t be available to the U.S. market until SCHOTT’s new manufacturing facility comes online in 2009.
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