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.