MetaShield LLC, a U.S.-based developer of spray-on thin-film glass technology, has announced an independent research study indicating its proprietary MetaSOL nanotechnology coating can provide a 1.2% (absolute) efficiency boost for triple-junction solar cells.
According to the company, MetaSOL is a nanoparticle-embedded, glass-based coating that increases solar cell efficiency using advanced light-trapping technology. The patent-pending formula is spray coated directly onto the existing anti-reflective coating on the solar cells and hardens at room temperature, forming a transparent ~200nm glass film. The embedded nanoparticles employ strong forward scattering to affect optical enhancement in solar cells, the company adds.
MetaShield says it commissioned the study with a grant from the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative TAP program. The research was conducted at MetaShield’s research and development (R&D) facilities and verified by OAI-Optical Associates, a testing company in San Jose.
In the study, triple-junction GaInP/GaInAs/Ge solar cells were coated with MetaSOL. The solar cells used were not encapsulated and already had commercial AR coatings. The current-voltage measurements (J-V curve) of the devices were measured under AM1.5 simulated solar spectrum illumination at OAI-Optical Associates, before and after the coating was applied. The comparison revealed an increase in device efficiency from 29.39% to 30.59%, an absolute increase of 1.2%.
MetaSOL is in beta production and available to solar cell manufacturers. The company notes that although triple-junction solar cells can be used for rooftop projects and solar farms, they are primarily used for interstellar vehicles and communication satellites. However, MetaShield says it has also begun testing MetaSOL’s ability to provide a similar enhancement to crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells.
“The findings thus far indicate that results will be as good or better for the type of PV cells which currently encompass 90 percent of the $90 billion+ global solar photovoltaics market, which is currently struggling with very narrow margins and desperate for innovative solutions,” comments Martin Ben-Dayan, MetaShield LLC’s founder and CEO.
MetaShield says it will release the results of the crystalline silicon PV study upon its completion.