Provini: “This will accelerate the movement of the Natcore Foil Cell™ into the marketplace.”
Rochester, NY — (April 4, 2017) —Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V: NXT; OTCQB: NTCXF; Frankfurt: 8NT) has signed a joint development agreement with Coveme spa, the Italian company that is a leading innovator in the manufacture and conversion of polyester films.
Natcore has recently developed the Natcore Foil Cell, which combines a revolutionary laser process with a novel metallization strategy, thus enabling high-efficiency cell architectures at low cost.
The key feature: metallization of the cell by direct attachment of a bilayer aluminum foil laminate. The concept simplifies the fabrication of several silicon-based, all-back contact cell architectures, allowing for high-speed, low-cost manufacturing methods.
Importantly, it also eliminates the need for silver, one of the highest-cost components of a conventional solar cell.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Natcore and Coveme will collaborate in order to assess and develop high throughput methods to produce laser-processed all-back-contacts on silicon solar cells.
Founded in 1965, Coveme treats, coats, heat-stabilizes and laminates polyester film for various industrial applications, such as photovoltaic modules, biomedical sensor strips, electrical insulation, automotive uses and flexible packaging. The company is based in San Lazzaro di Savena, Italy, and has production sites in Gorizia, Italy and Zhangjiagang, China.
“We developed the technology behind the Foil Cell in our Rochester lab,” Says Chuck Provini, Natcore President and CEO. “But we need additional expertise to help take it to the next level. Nobody is better equipped than Coveme to provide that expertise. Coveme will help us develop a full-scale prototype and ready the cell for production.”
“Natcore will develop their foil all-back-contact process to be compatible with foil designs and samples provided by Coveme,” says Gian Paolo Fedrigo, Coveme’s CEO. “They will construct devices using their own technology along with foil samples from Coveme. We will give them information regarding foil contact structures, and we’ll design and fabricate foil samples for their use in constructing test solar cells.”
The Project Managers will be David Levy for Natcore and Matteo Racchi for Coveme. Dr. Levy is Natcore’s Director of Research and Technology.
The all-back-contact solar cell is generally recognized as a very efficient structure. Indeed, a cell of this type holds the world record for silicon cell efficiency at 25.6%. In November, Natcore announced that they had achieved efficiencies of 19.4%. At that time, Dr. Levy said “Considering the rapid achievement of these good results, prior even to serious optimization of this new approach, we expect to announce devices soon with efficiencies considerably over 20%.”
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