Energy and Climate in the News

3D Solar Cells Could Be Here Next Year

Friday, 28 January 2011–The 3D solar Cell technology is still in its infancy and it might take another year or two before it goes commercial and gains prominence. Patented by Solar3D, the technology promises to make photovoltaic cells that are far more efficient and cost effective than the traditional ones that we are now using. The plan from Solar3D at this point is to create a prototype for public display by the end of 2011.

Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D, has announced that their developmental project for the 3D solar cells is running well ahead of its schedule and with the technology having been patented by their company a couple of months back, the next step is to create a prototype that will fit the commercial billing.

3D Solar Cells supposedly use a technology that facilitates micro-photovoltaic structure to trap sunlight and then bounce the photons around to generate more energy than the models that are currently on offer. We are obviously thinking this is akin to trapping light inside a prism and creating multiple reflections, but that is only based on our best guess of how the technology seems to work.
Solar panels built from such cells will not only be more energy efficient but apparently will also cost a lot less. Well, all we can say is that we are anxiously waiting for the first 3D Solar Cell to be out. There is so much solar energy out there, clean and abundant, waiting to be tapped into!

Posted by Lisa Hinano Rey

Chair, Energy and Climate Subcommittee

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