‘Black Silicon’ Helps Reduce Solar Panel Cost

The black silicon technology can only reduce the costs of solar components till a certain limit.

black silicon

Taking a step towards cost considerations of solar modules, researchers at Aalto University have found a way to reduce production costs of solar cells by more than 10 percent by using ‘black silicon’.

Moreover, creating Nano-textures on silicon with dry etching makes black silicon (black-Si) that is more efficient at capturing light than standard etching treatments.

As suggested by the technology, the color of the silicon does not go with its name. The dry extraction process takes a normally flat silicon surface and embeds it into a collection of Nano scale needles.

Visiting Professor, Material Sciences and Electrical Engineering, Michigan Tech, Joshua Pearce working at Aalto University said, “Improving cost per unit power at the cell level can have massive effects downstream. The costs of solar energy are comparable to conventional forms of electricity and this 10 percent drop should push solar to the forefront even faster.”

However, the new technology can only reduce the costs of solar components till a certain limit.

Margins are extremely tight. Everyone’s trying to push costs as low as possible,” he added.

The project found that production of individual black-Si passive emitter rear cells (PERC) were between 15.8 and 25.1 percent more expensive than making conventional cells, but the efficiency gains and the ability to go to the less-expensive multi-crystalline silicon starting material far outweighed those extra costs: overall the cost per unit power dropped by 10.8 percent.

Source: EENews

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