Solar power breakthrough
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Sol Voltaics announces PV breakthrough

Nanomaterials development company Sol Voltaics says it is closer to commercialising efficiency boosting solar technology through PV nanowires and Aerotaxy®.

The breakthrough opens the market to SolFilm™ PV solutions, delivering solar module power increases of up to 50% at low costs.

CEO of Sol Voltaics, Erik Smith, said: “Today’s achievement is the most significant to date. Producing solar nanowires through Aerotaxy is key to manufacturing SolFilm.

“Whether used by module manufacturers as a high-efficiency, low-cost solution or as a boosting technology, we believe SolFilm will usher in a new age of solar power efficiencies, bringing value not only to solar manufacturers but also to businesses and consumers.”

Increasing solar efficiency at economies of scale has slowed in recent years, where conventional modules see an average annual efficiency increase of 0.2-0.3%.

SolFilm offers solar panel manufacturers an economically viable bridge with a material proven to generate greater solar efficiency.

The material consists of billions of gallium arsenide (GaAs) nanowires orientated towards the Sun. The nanowires, of which each is a complete solar cell, convert high-energy sunlight into power.

The high fabrication costs of GaAs, used in space and concentrated solar projects, have prevented economical fabrication of large solar panels. Manufacturing nanowires with Aerotaxy reduces the required amount of GaAs.

Sol Voltaics completed a $17m (~€15.2m) investment in new equity in 2016, which included funding from the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.