Gallery: Natcore Builds World’s First Black Silicon Solar Cell Using Sc...

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Natcore Technology has created the world’s first commercially-viable absolute black silicon cell. The company claims that by using a scalable liquid phase disposition (LPD) process, the groundbreaking solar cell can make virtually 100% of received sunlight available for conversion into electricity.

Natcore’s absolute black silicon wafers have near-zero reflectivity. This means that almost no sunlight is reflected off of the resulting solar cells and is instead able to be harnessed for electricity. But it’s important to keep in mind that a wafer, no matter how sophisticated, is only a component of a solar cell and is not able to generate electricity in and of itself.

That is why Natcore has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to use their absolute black wafer technology to create an overall more efficient black silicon solar cell. This will happen by combining Natcore’s patented LPD technology with NREL’s technology for creating a black silicon anti-reflective layer to create high-efficiency solar cells.

Natcore’s absolute-black technology uses a chemical process instead of an expensive thermal process to achieve near-zero reflectivity, making it the first to be viable for commercial applications. Its absolute black silicon wafers yield a tenfold reduction in reflectance, which means an up to 3% increase in solar cell efficiency. And this means that a panel made from absolute black solar cells would ultimately produce significantly more energy on a daily basis than a panel made from industry-standard silicon wafers. “Its higher energy output, combined with a lower cost using Natcore’s patented process, could quickly make black silicon the global solar technology of choice,” says Natcore President and CEO Chuck Provini.

+ Natcore Technology

Via The Sacramento Bee


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  1. Luca Gautero April 12, 2015 at 7:19 am

    First of all, let\\\’s give the credit to Natcore since industrializing black silicon is a VERY big achievement.
    They mention it as well: ” is only a component ” of the solar cell, and I would add that is only a component of a solar module, where the solar cells are encapsulated.
    Unfortunately, like in an audio system where the music will sound as bad as the worst component in the audio system, the achievement of black silicon processing might be shadowed by the encapsulation procedure, which involves glass with its optical limitations. It would be worthwhile to apply anti-reflection coating on glass. Though the technology in the field is not so advanced to enable a >20 years stable performances.

    To: Larry Kirkpatrick
    There is a lot of confusion between relative and absolute percentage increase. Press release normally use the higher of the two to make audience. As said before, the achievement stated here is a milestone in technology. After a lot of experience in the field I rather see a small and proven evolution of existing than a shouted revolution.

    To Willem J. de Koe: Upconversion (convert infrared and deep infrared light to for example visible light) is a valuable technology, even at a loss in the conversion, the spectrum is better used. However, the amount available from the sun spectrum is not much. Furthermore, a regular silicon based solar cell is doing already quite good down to 1200nm wavelength (which is already IR) and will continue to evolve to improve that range. The dramatic increase that you can expect is an absolute 1 to 2 % and a relative 5 to 10% efficiency increase. Choose the absolute or the relative as you wish 😉

  2. Larry Kirkpatrick February 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    3 % more efficient and and Motley Fool has been claiming it is 2x more efficient “twice as powerful in there news letter the last year or so.much a do about nothing unless it is twice as cheap by the watt which i doubt and still no vendors for it.i smell a rat.Thank goodness Obama didnt give them any money. any comments or corrections Motley Fool?

  3. Willem J. de Koe January 12, 2014 at 5:23 am

    How convert this Natcore & NREL scientists the infra red part of the light spectrum into electricity ? If they not succeed we better wait for what AMOLF in Amsterdam is cooking. They claimed years ago that there technology in 5 years will increase the efficiency dramatically. I think that we wait once in a month of Sundays for developments like this.

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