Sweden-based Sol Voltaics has unveiled SolInk, a nanomaterial that the company says can increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon or thin-film solar modules by 25% or more.
Sol Voltaics' strategy revolves around two fundamental technologies: gallium arsenide nanowires, thin strands of material that constitute the active ingredient in SolInk, and Aerotaxy, a process for producing nanowires created by company founder and Lund University professor Lars Samuelson.
SolInk uses less than a gram of nanowires, enabling module manufacturers to make commercially feasible, high-efficiency gallium arsenide solar modules or multi-junction solar modules combining gallium arsenide and crystalline silicon, Sol Voltaics explains. SolInk also enables light concentration without the use of optics or mechanical components.
Rather than produce modules or sell capital equipment, Sol Voltaics will produce and sell SolInk to solar cell and module manufacturers. A single, relatively small manufacturing facility will be able to provide megawatts worth of materials to module makers worldwide, the company explains. Module manufacturers likewise will be able to integrate new materials into their products without replacing existing production lines.
Sol Voltaics anticipates producing functional solar cells with gallium arsenide nanowires for demonstration by the end of the year.