Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cheaper Solar Cells

A pretty exciting development. These could be used in commercial solar cell production within a year. Ink-Jet Printing for Cheaper Solar Cells
An improved process for making solar cells could allow manufacturers to cut the amount of silicon needed in half. Since silicon can account for about three-quarters of the cost of conventional solar cells, this could significantly lower the price of solar power. The technique can reduce the amount of other materials used and improve solar-cell performance.

The process uses ink-jet printing to make electrical connections within a solar cell, replacing the existing screen-printing process. Because the ink-jet method is more precise, it can use less material for these connections. Also, because the printheads don't make contact with the silicon, the method works with thinner silicon wafers.

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