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Holographic Foil Solar Cell Uses Less Silicon, Has Double the Performance

A new solar cell module technology that integrates a holographic foil with a silicon cell is said to reach up to 28% efficiency, effectively doubling the current industry average of 17%, while only needing a fraction of the silicon necessary in current PV technology.

The crucial piece in this new discovery is the use of a holographic foil for concentrating the desirable wavelengths of light by a factor of 20 to 30 times, which reduces the need for silicon in its construction by over 90%.

Instead of placing a concentrating device, such as a Fresnel lens, out in front of the solar module, the new development has the holographic element printed right on the cover glass, which reduces the effective space between lens and cell, while also filtering the light for specific wavelengths.

In addition to reducing overheating issues in the modules, the new prototype has the potential to drastically reduce the costs of materials (through using less silicon) and boost solar cell efficiency.

“The amount of silicon used in our prototype can be measured in millimeters, reaching barely 3% of the total module area. Since solar cells account for more than half of module prices today, we achieve here considerable savings with comparable or higher efficiency values being possible. The rest of the module can optionally be left empty or be used as a kind of hybrid solar module, for example using solar thermal technology.

The combination of both reduced raw material costs and higher efficiency levels is the key to achieve favorable energy generation costs. With our technology grid parity can finally be reached. Soon such solar panels will become standard, affordable household products.” – Alfred Jost, President of Solar Bankers

The new development comes from Solar Bankers LLC (Arizona USA), and its Dresden, Germany, affiliate Apollon GmbH & Co. KG. According to Solar Bankers, one of their objectives is to deploy a 300 MW production capacity in the USA or Germany, which would also create 500 new jobs.

[via CleanTechnica]

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