A U.S. solar energy company has developed a photovoltaic module that combines holographic optics with conventional solar cell technology.
TUCSON, Arizona, US, 2001-05-23 <SolarAccess.com> TerraSun L.L.C. of Arizona will install the modules in Tucson and will soon offer PV products for electric power modules and building integrated PV components. The company expects its product to be highly competitive in the growing global market for PV modules for both off-grid and grid-connected power applications. The patented technology utilizes holographic optics to trap and focus light to regions of the module where the light is coupled to solar cells. The modules are robust and assembled in a manner that meets the expectations of the existing PV market. The TerraSun modules are partially transparent and company officials expect them to be used extensively in the emerging architecturally integrated PV market. The PV modules are ideal for applications as building materials on roofs and in skylights, and wall components in windows and curtain wall construction. For off-grid applications, the modules can be used for telecommunications, water pumping, lighting and home electrification. “TerraSun’s breakthrough technology brings a whole new type of flat-plate module to the existing PV industry,” says managing director Greg Davis. “This is at a time when the market for PV’s is growing rapidly and demand continues to outstrip supply. The PV industry needs new technologies that help bring costs down while expanding applications.” The Tucson company has projects underway in various market segments, and is also developing a solar back-up power supply for applications in California. The PV cells are made from crystalline silicon cells, which are a proven technology that still dominates the PV industry. “Our PV modules are lower cost because we replace a lot of the costly PV cell area with inexpensive glass and holographic optics,” he adds. TerraSun was formed in 1995 to develop holographic optics with solar energy and daylighting applications. The private company maintains a 22,000 square foot optics laboratory and production facilities in Tucson and an office in California.