One of the coolest guys in science, Bill Nye is turning his attention to new solar technology that could cut the cost of panels by 60 percent. Rayton Solar has devised a system that cuts Float Zone Silicon, a crucial component of solar panels, with a particle accelerator. Their groundbreaking technique results in less waste and lower costs, making solar power more financially competitive than fossil fuels.
Solar panels are largely made with silicon, but the typical process to cut silicon results in a lot of waste. By utilizing a particle accelerator, Rayton Solar uses 50 to 100 times less silicon than other industry processes. As silicon is the most expensive component of a solar panel, Rayton Solar’s process allows them to make solar panels 60 percent cheaper. The type of silicon they cut makes a difference too: Float Zone Silicon is the highest grade and is the type NASA uses.
Related: Rayton’s new super-efficient, affordable solar panels could trump fossil fuels
Solar power has benefited from subsidies in the past, but Rayton Solar CEO and founder Andrew Yakub wants to make the renewable energy cost effective without subsidies. With their process, “subsidies are not needed for solar energy to be the cheapest source of energy,” according to the company.
In his video discussing Rayton Solar, Bill Nye compared the current pivotal moment in history to that of when oil overtook coal as the primary energy source around 100 years ago. He said, “We stand on the cusp on a new era, in which the paradigm for energy is changing…An opportunity to back a disruptive solar technology represents a path to enabling change to a renewable future, and an investment with very bright economic prospects. Join us as we begin the solar age.”
Rayton Solar is currently “testing the waters” on Start Engine; those interested in their technology can reserve shares so the company can gauge interest. So far the reservations have amounted to over $4 million.
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Images via screenshot and Rayton Solar