3D solar cell prototype to emerge by end of year

Solar3D has today announced plans for its 3D solar cell development, which will see a working prototype by the end of 2011.

The company has outlined four major goals it intends to accomplish during this year, including designing the light-trapping element of the solar cell, determining the expected efficiency of this, designing a three-dimension micro-photovoltaic structure for the cell and then fabricating a prototype model.

All of this is expected to be completed by the end of this year, which is ahead of the original schedule, according to Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D. He said he is confident that the company can achieve its goals in the given time frame.

3D solar cell technology works by using a micro-photovoltaic structure to trap sunlight and then bounce the photons around until they convert into electrons. This is a much more efficient way of using solar technology and it is expected to significantly lower the costs involved, thereby making it more accessible to more people.

Solar3D patented the technology behind its planned development in November last year and labelled it as a “breakthrough” for the industry. The next step is bringing that technology into reality, which could dramatically transform the solar cell market over the coming years.