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Solar3D Claims New Solar Cells 200% More Efficient Than Standard Ones

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Solar3D, a company saying it will revolutionize solar power, has just published a thorough simulation analysis of its new 3D solar cells. They’re saying their solar cell technology is 200% more efficient in harvesting the energy of sunlight than conventional counterparts.

The company’s 3D solar cells are better from the fact that they can harvest light from a very wide angle and hence have a much higher conversion efficiency, without having the customers use a tracker. The three-dimensional design actually traps sunlight inside photovoltaic microstructures, where it bounces until it gets absorbed and transformed into electricity.

“Our development team believes we may have discovered the ultimate silicon solar cell design. One of the biggest challenges facing solar cells is light reflection. When sunlight hits conventional solar cells from off angles, the photons are simply reflected away. To make matters worse, the cells become dramatically less efficient if the sun is not shining within a narrow range of incident angles. Our breakthrough design dramatically reduces the effect of this problem,” said Solar3D CEO Jim Nelson.

From their own analysis, a typical solar cell that has a nominal 17% efficiency behaves like one that has only 5% efficiency when the angle of light incidence is 20 degrees. Or, you can safely say you’re not getting what you paid for, all the time. Also, Nelson says that the two-dimensional solar cell technology has “hit a wall” and that 3D is a “game changer.”

However, after watching the picture above, a sun-tracking device would perfectly complement the 3D cell’s intrinsic higher efficiency figure.

[via solar3d]

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