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Holographic Planar Concentrator Brings Solar Cell Cost to $1/Watt


The company Prism Solar Technologies has made an important step in the solar energy field by developing a new technology that can produce more renewable energy in regions like New York (or Germany) where the insolation level is relatively low.

The company officials said this invention could bring the cost down to $1 a watt. The company’s new technology, called the Holographic Planar Concentrator (HPC), features a hybrid-use unique holographic thin-film coupled with crystalline PV cells. Each of their solar modules is made up of both holographic thin-film and crystalline PV. The thin-film strips diffract both direct and reflected energy to the PV cell strips integrated between strips of thin-film. The reason why the solar modules made this way are cheaper is they use 50-72% less silicon to generate the same amount of power.

According to the company, the bi-facial modules can produce as much as 30% more energy because the thin-film receives light from both directions. Here are some advantages of HPC (Holographic Planar Concentrator) technology:

– Cooler operation in comparison with conventional PV module, most unusable light passes through module without being turned into heat.
– When the bifacial PV cells are mounted over a reflective surface, these could increase the module performance.
– Less silicon reduces cost per watt
– Lower embodied energy, the energy required to manufacture the HPC film is much less than that required to mine and process silicon.
– Passive tracking from holographic effect generates more energy from reflected light and diffuse.

[Source: Cleantechnica, Prism Solar Technology]

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