Innovative Cell Design Shatters Previous Cost Barriers for High Efficiencies to Save Manufacturers $50 Billion in Five Years
Lexington, MA â€“ September 14, 2009 â€“1366 Technologies (www.1366tech.com), a silicon photovoltaics company, today unveiled two breakthrough technologies for multi-crystalline silicon solar cells. The companyâ€™s significant advancements in cell texturing and metallization deliver simpler, more commercially-viable solutions for multicrystalline cell manufacturers striving to reach 18 percent efficiency. 1366 Technologiesâ€™ Self-Aligned Cell (SAC) architecture breaks the historic efficiency and cost tradeoff of photovoltaics (PV) by providing mono-crystalline equivalent cell efficiencies at multi-crystalline cell costs.
For years, many PV companies have tried to increase efficiencies by using overly-complicated approaches, such as back-contact or emitter wrap through solar cell technology, which add costly steps to the manufacturing process with minimal gains in cell efficiency. This problem slowed the pace of progress until MIT professor, renowned inventor and 1366 Technologies Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Emanuel â€œElyâ€ Sachs, developed a simple, cost-effective approach to improving cell texturing and metallization without increasing production costs.
â€œAt 1366 weâ€™ve pioneered a cell architecture and manufacturing process thatâ€™s going to change the way we think about energy,â€ said Frank van Mierlo, co-founder and president of 1366 Technologies. â€œOur innovations have the potential to save manufacturers $50 billion over the next five years and help the industry deliver solar at the cost of coal.â€
1366 Technologies has developed two technologies that can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing lines. The first addresses cell texture, creating a distinctive honeycomb structure that introduces cross-textured surfaces to the cell that trap more light and enables up to 1 percent higher absolute efficiency overall than previous cell designs. The second focuses on the front-side cell metallization, wherein the company has developed the worldâ€™s finest metallization lines â€“ just 30 microns compared to the prevailing of 120 microns â€“ and an innovative Grooved Ribbon busbar (licensed by Ulbrich and Schlenk). Industry standard thick fingers and flat busbars typically shade 9 percent of the surface of a cell. 1366â€™s simple front-side metallization approach, however, only shades 2 percent of the cell delivering 75 percent of the efficiency gains of back-contact cell designs without the high costs and process complexity.
â€œThe way we see it, the right technology and materials are available now to help PV reach grid parity, but the challenge for our industry is to simultaneously deliver high efficiencies and low costs,â€ said Dr. Emanuel Sachs, co-founder and chief technology officer for 1366 Technologies. â€œOur Self-Aligned Cell architecture addresses this challenge head-on. We believe our technologies, combined with further advancements in manufacturing, will help solar power satisfy 7% of global electricity demand over the next decade and inspire one of the largest manufacturing revolutions in history.â€
About 1366 Technologies
1366 Technologiesâ€™ eliminates the cost and production challenges that have hampered solar powerâ€™s ability to replace fossil fuels. The company combines breakthrough innovations in silicon cell architecture with lean manufacturing processes to make the worldâ€™s most cost effective and commercially viable high efficiency solar cells. Developed by a veteran team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, including MIT professor and photovoltaic industry expert Dr. Emanuel Sachs, the companyâ€™s novel approach breaks the historic efficiency and cost tradeoff of photovoltaics. 1366 Technologies is headquartered in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.1366tech.com.
Director of Business Development