Sunday, December 18, 2011

Step by step

Breakthrough design will produce conversion efficiency far in excess of current solar technology

Solar3D has announced the results of a simulated test of its new solar cell design that projects the conversion efficiency to be in excess of 25%. The test results indicate that the company's innovative design will produce conversion efficiency far in excess of current solar technology.

"We are very encouraged by these test results," said Jim Nelson, President and CEO of Solar3D.

"We are now evaluating various methods of fabricating a prototype. If the results of our tests hold up in fabrication, as we expect, then our product's performance will be among the very highest conversion efficiencies achieved by silicon solar cells."

After completion of its prototype, the company's management plans to seek a manufacturing partner that will participate in bringing its 3-dimensional solar cell to market. Likely manufacturing partners include some of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers.

Nelson continued, "These test results are very exciting and give us a great deal of confidence in the development path we have chosen. We think that our novel 3-dimensional solar cell has the potential to dramatically change the economics of solar power. A high efficiency solar cell manufactured with low cost silicon could result in the lowest cost per watt in the industry."

"Increasing conversion efficiency and reducing manufacturing costs will ultimately drive solar to economic parity with the low cost alternatives," said Nelson.

"With the increased efficiency that comes from our new design, we take a giant step in that direction."
staff article

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Steep learning curve

811MW of solar installed in the use in the 4th quarter of 2011. That is almost the equivalent of a nuclear reactor. While today's grid tied solar only has a 25% capacity factor; meaning it is producing peak electricity only 6hrs a day, this is a significant amount of power. 1MW powers approximately 200 US homes.

In the 4th quarter of 2011 South Carolina approved installs for approximately 90kw that's 1000th of the overall US market. California is still the US leader with 38% of the US market. NJ is 11% of the overall market leaving the 47 remaining mainland states to divide up 51%. Assuming the top 5 of those take 8% each that leaves 11% for the remaining 42 states. That is a 1/4% for each state. That gives SC a target of 2MW a quarter and 8MW a year goal to be considered even thinking of contributing to a domestic energy policy. That's a steep curve but one we could easily achieve if we worked together.

In Q3’11, the US PV market grew by 32% from Q2’11 and could reach 1.9 GW for the year, which would mean that the market has doubled in size for the second consecutive year. For large-scale non-residential and utility-scale projects in Q3’11 and Q4’11, the scheduled expiration of the US federal cash grant has encouraged progress to meet qualifying requirements; ongoing installation will continue throughout 2012, stimulated by the progress requirements for these cash grants.