We believe that the best approach to lowering the cost of solar electricity and solving the great engineering challenge of achieving solar electricity at a $1/W (per installed system) or “Grid Parity” is to manufacture modules made of a single crystal or large grained thin-film semiconductor deposited on an inexpensive substrate. Specifically, our “kerf-less”, modified VLS (vapor-liquid-solid) technology allows for the growth of continuous (single crystal or large grain) semiconductor ultra-thin films on ordinary (soda-lime) glass for inexpensive and efficient modules, including multi-junction/tandem cells used in Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV).
Very simply, our technology has the following advantages which make it ideal:1
- Higher light conversion efficiency (due to single crystal, or large grain)
- Less semiconductor material use (due to thin-film and inexpensive substrate)
- Low temperature film deposition allowing for higher quality material (due to eutectic manufacturing method)
Solar-Tectic derives its name from the word ‘eutectic’, a fascinating physical phenomenon occurring when two elements — such as silicon and a metal – are combined to form an alloy. Two of our technologies, ‘1c-Si Eutectic’, and ’1c-Si Laser Eutectic’, take advantage of this phenomenon for low temperature deposition of films and good material quality.
We have a portfolio of proprietary technologies, including one patented in which single crystal silicon nanowires are grown on ordinary (soda-lime) glass for photovoltaic applications; and another for manufacturing superconducting tapes for use with solar modules for efficiently transferring solar energy to and from the modules and to and from public utility electrical power grids and computer-based, automated electrical power “smart grids.”
At Solar-Tectic we don’t much like the word ‘disruptive’. But we believe that our technology will be transformative in the solar and display industries, improving living standards and contributing significantly to the fight against climate change.
1 See “Crystalline silicon photovoltaics: a cost analysis framework for determining technology pathways to reach baseload electricity costs”, by D.M. Powell, T. Buonassisi et al, MIT, 2012 (Energy & Environmental Science).