Beta Test System Gets Green Light
Red Bank, NJ — (January 10, 2011) —The antireflective (AR) coating technology of Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V: NXT; NTCXF.PK) has been independently validated by a prominent Chinese solar cell manufacturer.
Several silicon wafers with antireflection coatings prepared by Natcore’s researchers at the Ohio State University were supplied to a Chinese government-selected solar cell manufacturer for cell finishing and testing. The wafers were coated using Natcore’s exclusive liquid phase deposition (LPD) technology.
The validating company, Hunan TLNZ Solar Technology Ltd., analyzed the composition and quality of the Natcore-supplied films, added metal front and back contacts to the cells, and tested their efficiency. Cell efficiencies as high as 15% were measured for this first-ever test of Natcore’s AR coating technology using actual production solar cells. Importantly, the standard deviation of efficiencies for the entire batch of cells was within normal industry acceptance limits. The results demonstrate that Natcore’s LPD AR coating technology is completely compatible with standard silicon solar cell production methods and can easily be integrated into existing solar cell manufacturing facilities.
The validating company also identified the process steps to be included in a commercial production system that will enable cells using Natcore’s AR coating technology to routinely reach or exceed 17% efficiency in production. This result gives the green light to Natcore China, Natcore’s China joint venture, to complete the development of a beta test system.
“This is a major step on the way from the lab to the marketplace,” says Natcore President and CEO Chuck Provini. “Just as we anticipated, our efficiencies will equal or exceed efficiencies from cells produced using conventional means. But we’re doing so at significantly lower cost—and without using high-temperature vacuum furnaces, toxic silane or huge amounts of silicon, and without the environmental damage created by the old chemical vapor deposition method. We’re replacing the CVD method with our LPD wet chemistry process. And we’re making solar power cost- competitive with conventional power.”
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