PV Nano Cell, an Israel-based monocrystalline nano-metric conductive digital inks producer, plans to enter the U.S. solar energy market with its Sicrys™ silver and copper inks. The inks are able to reduce the cost of silicon PV cell production through an efficient process and it produces inks without using hazardous wastes. Via such a new method, PV cells’ efficiency can also be increased at a mass production scale.
PV cells are printed with conductive grid lines that capture the electricity generated when sunlight strikes a solar cell. Innovative printing technologies are grasping attention because they can help reduce the costs of manufacturing PV cells while increase conversion efficiency. PV Nano Cell’s Sicrys™ silver nano-metric conductive ink is an option because they can be used with noncontact digital inkjet printing so that cell-contact is avoidable. The inkjet printing technology prevents cell breakage so that wastage of silicon can be reduced. Furthermore, implementing Sicrys™ silver nano-metric inkjet inks in the metallization of silicon solar cells allows manufacturers to reduce the amount of silver needed in the cell.
“The cost of solar has dropped dramatically, but it will have to come down even further if it is ever to make up a significant share of the U.S. energy supply,” said Fernando de la Vega, Ph.D., founder and CEO of PV Nano Cell. “As we eagerly enter the U.S. market, we are confident that our Sicrys™ nano-metric conductive inks will have a significant impact on reducing costs and increasing efficiency in the solar industry, at a scalable level for international manufacturers, thus stimulating growth and accelerating the rate of adoption.”
Technology and Applications
When implanting Sicrys™ silver nano-metric inkjet inks, the level of silver consumption reduction can reach up to 70% depending on the cell set up. Silver is the one of the most expensive materials used in the production of solar cells. PV Nano Cell’s inks are also “green,” meaning that they are produced without hazardous waste.
The effect of PV Nano Cell’s conductive inks on efficiency is due to the fact that they allow for coverage of less of a solar cell’s surface area, thus producing a greater energy harvest, and because they are better conductors as a result of their nano-structural properties. PV Nano Cell’s inks increase solar cell efficiency by more than 0.2% absolute, which represents a substantial improvement over existing solar cell efficiencies.
In looking to the future, PV Nano Cell inks can also be used in organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, or solar cells made from carbon-based molecules, which are being developed as lightweight, flexible, low-cost alternatives to rigid silicon solar panels. While still under development, the successful large-scale commercialization of OPV could revolutionize the solar industry since the cells’ flexibility lends itself to applications, including integration into automobile and building exteriors and recharging surfaces for laptops and cell phones, for which traditional silicon cell technologies are not suited.
In addition to its silver inks, which are standard in the solar industry, PV Nano Cell has also developed the world’s first commercially available, stable copper nano-metric inkjet conductive inks, which deliver the outstanding properties of its Sicrys™ silver inks with even greater cost efficiency based on a significantly lower cost for the metal.
The Sicrys™ ink technology is also applied for various electronic products such as circuit boards, RFID security and Internet of Things (IoT). 3D printing electronic products can also utilize Sicrys™ inks.
(Graphic: screenshot of PV Nano Cell)