Grooved Solar Cells Offer More for Less

Grooved Solar Cells Offer More for Less
An innovative new solar cell design relies on micro-grooves to increase efficiency and lower manufacturing costs.

The technique was developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield and the Power Roll company, and features a network of micro-grooves with different electrical contacts coating the opposite walls. The grooves were then filled with a solution-processable semiconductor, resulting in a new type of back-contacted solar cell. According to the team, the new design speeds manufacturing by eliminating many of the steps while also allowing for the incorporation of new materials that would not work in traditional panels.

According to Professor David Lidzey, "The devices we have demonstrated with Power Roll have a promising efficiency, whereby seven per cent of sunlight power falling onto a single photovoltaic micro-groove device is directly converted to electrical power. This is already around a third of what the best performing but expensive solar cells produce today."

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