Sol Voltaics to market nanowire solar film
© Vera Kratochvil

Sol Voltaics to market nanowire solar film

Swedish start-up Sol Voltaics has announced a step towards commercialising its efficiency-boosting solar technology by completing the manufacture of its GaAs-based photovoltaics (PV) nanowires. 

According to the company, this paves the way to bringing its SolFilm PV solutions to market and delivering solar module power boosts of up to 50% at low costs.

Aerotaxy suspends active materials in gases blended in a controlled environment. The suspended materials bond to form larger, uniform structures. The process is said to generate nanowires within seconds, at yields comparable with semiconductor industry standards, and can produce them on a continuous basis at comparatively low temperatures.

“Producing solar nanowires through Aerotaxy is the key to manufacturing our SolFilm. The nanowires are grown so that the top and bottom of the wire have opposite doping profiles,” stated Erik Smith, CEO of Sol Voltaics.

He added: “Whether used by module manufacturers as a single-junction, high-efficiency, low-cost solution or as a boosting technology, we believe SolFilm will usher in a new age of solar power efficiencies, bringing tremendous value not only to solar manufacturers but also to businesses and consumers who adopt solar.”

SoIFilm consists of billions of GaAs nanowires facing the Sun. The nanowires, each of which is a complete solar cell, convert high-energy sunlight directly into power. While GaAs has been widely used in space and concentrated solar projects, its high fabrication costs have prevented economical fabrication of large solar panels.

Manufacturing nanowires with Aerotaxy is said to reduce the required amount of GaAs and removes the need for a crystalline support wafer, significantly lowering material costs.