Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm.
The name 1366 represents the 1366 watts of solar radiation hitting each square meter of the Earth on average.
1366 Technologies produces new manufacturing processes to lower the cost of silicon solar cells. Among others, they have developed proprietary new cell architecture for multi-crystalline solar cells. They are currently in the process of implementing this architecture in their pilot plant.
This architecture, developed at MIT, improves surface texture and metallization to enhance silicon solar cell efficiency by 25% (from 15 - 19%) while lowering costs.
Note: All information has been brought over from the official website with permission.
The revolutionary, new Light-Capturing Ribbon increases the efficiency of a solar module by reflecting light back onto the surface of the cell. This grooved ribbon replaces the traditional wires used to interconnect solar cells.
Just as standard interconnect wires, the Light-Capturing Ribbon is soldered to the silver busbar on top of the silicon cell and to the solder pads on the back of the next cell.
The grooved surface of the Ribbon steers incoming light back to the glass/air interface at a grazing angle, that allows the light to undergo virtually total internal reflection, directing it back to the cell surface.
Up to 80% of the photocurrent from light that strikes the ribbon is recovered—far better than the 5% recovered by a standard interconnect wire.
The Light-Capturing Ribbon is a strip of very soft copper wire. The top of the ribbon is patterned with parallel triangular grooves with their sides at 30º to the horizontal.
The grooves are 43 µm high, spaced every 150 µm and have an optical-quality silver finish. The flat bottom of the wire is tinned with solder.
Imagine a PV module panel plant, producing 20 MWp annually, each panel priced at $3.50/Wp. A 2% efficiency boost would generate an additional $1.4M per year revenue. Since each panel is 2% more efficient, the costs of transporting and installing the modules—not to speak of related real estate costs—are also reduced by 2%.
Traditional wires are an engineering trade-off between minimizing resistive losses (requiring wider wires) and minimizing shading losses (requiring narrower wires).
Theoretical analysis has shown that the optimum interconnect design is one where its resistive loss equals the energy loss in the shaded areas.
Since 80% of the photocurrent from light that strikes the ribbon is recovered, we can now use wider interconnects, reducing Ohmic losses without sacrificing efficiency.
The Light-Capturing Ribbon offers enhanced performance, direct savings to the module manufacturer and lower cost for end consumers, easier transitions to larger and thinner cells, new design optimizations, and improved aesthetics.
The gains can be achieved through minor modifications of existing manufacturing processes and equipment.
Because the Light-Capturing Ribbon is compatible with the existing manufacturing process, you can achieve many of the potential benefits of processes such as metallization wrap through.
Whereas the latter moves the contact to the back with several additional process steps (including drilling many holes in the silicon matrix), using the grooved ribbon simply requires a straightforward change to the tabber-stringer machine.
The retooling is minimal and the grooved ribbon improves the module’s efficiency at minimal cost without compromising yield.
Quoting from website:
Situated near Boston, Massachusetts, 1366 is located in one of the most advanced technology capitals in the world. They are committed to producing value for customers by using innovative technology to develop and build the world’s most efficient multi-crystalline solar cells.
1366 Technologies will partner with solar companies and government agencies, licensing its technology to accelerate the ongoing global transition to solar. In addition, the company plans to build industrial, 100 megawatt plants around the world.
“Once the pilot plant has proven itself, we’ll work with governments and energy agencies worldwide to build a string of factories,? said Carmichael Roberts, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, who is joining 1366 Technologies board of directors as chairman.
1366 Technologies intends to partner with solar companies and government agencies, licensing its technology to accelerate the ongoing global transition to solar.
MIT Professor, 1366 founder and CTO, Ely Sachs, noted that 1366 Technologies will be combining innovations in silicon cell architecture with manufacturing process improvements to bring multi-crystalline silicon solar cells to cost parity with coal-based electricity.
Sachs added, “The science is understood, the raw materials are abundant and the products work. All that is left to do is innovate in manufacturing and scale up volume production, and that’s just what we intend to do.? The company has just taken space in Lexington to build its pilot solar cell manufacturing facility.
MIT Professor Ely Sachs Aims to Beat Coal with Improved Silicon Solar Cell Manufacturing - Lexington, Mass. – March 27, 2008 – 1366 Technologies, a new MIT start-up aiming to make silicon solar cells competitive with coal, today announced it has secured $12.4 million in a first round of financing co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.
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