They’re working on a ‘spray-on’ coating for solar panels. A new technique they’re hoping to have commercially available for 2011.
At present, coatings have to be applied in a vacuum. It’s hoped the new process will mean its possible to skip that part of the process in the manufacture of solar panels. The new method will use a spray-on hydrogen film and a spray-on anti-reflective film. This new manufacturing process could trim down production costs by $5 million in capital equipment costs per medium sized factory, meaning the manufacturer would be able to offer the solar panels at a much cheaper rate.
The second part of the project relates to making the solar panels more efficient at generating power. Current solar cells operate at anywhere between 5% and 24% efficiency.
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photo credit: subhash chandra