The company's revolutionary 3D solar cell, according to company officials, could enter the market in 2013 as research continues.
Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D Inc., announces details of its path to commercialization. The company’s management believes that the revolutionary 3D solar cell could enter the market next year.
“Our objective has always been to change the solar world by changing the economics of solar energy,” Nelson says. “There are many reasons to use renewable energy – but solar energy won’t be widely adopted until it is economically competitive with lower cost alternatives. We believe that our 3D solar cell will accomplish that.”
Nelson, a veteran of 20 years in the private equity business and a management consultant at Bain and Company, believes in leveraging tried and true best management practices to bring new products to market and create shareholder value.
Nelson continues, “We have set milestones and met most of them, but some have to change as we correct flaws and take advantage of new development opportunities. We have done both. Our solar cell’s wide-angle collection feature, for example, was a new breakthrough that may be as important as or more important than high internal cell efficiency. Now that we have created the basic design, and know that it is even better than we anticipated, we have an even higher level of confidence in our ability to commercialize this novel product.”
The company’s analysis indicates that a typical 17% efficient solar cell performs more like a 5% efficient cell when light is shining 20 degrees from the side, such as during the morning or evening hours. The company estimates that its Solar3D cell can maintain its high 25% efficiency for a longer period of time and can generate 200% of the power output of conventional solar cells. This translates into a system payback period that is approximately half the time of the current solar technologies.
Solar3D is currently constructing a prototype of its 3D solar cell on a thin silicon wafer. Following the completion of this “proof of concept” prototype, the company’s path to commercialization includes:
- Selecting a pilot manufacturing partner
- Completing a pilot manufacturing run of 50,000 units
- Using data from the pilot run to validate achieving that the same power output during manufacturing as in the lab
- Identifying and negotiating a partnership or license agreement with a manufacturing partner
- Launch the commercialization and marketing platform
- Identify distribution/reseller partnerships
“We believe that the result of our innovation will be a revolutionary solar cell that can deliver energy at a cost that will make solar power viable throughout the world,” Nelson concludes.