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Monday, April 23, 2007

Solaria Supercell Revisited

Stellaris claims the grainy diagram as copyrighted material.

First, a correction to the post, Moser Baer PV reveals Solaria Supercell, is required. Stellaris has claimed the grainy diagram I extracted from the joint press conference presentation by Solarvalue AG (XETRA:SV7) and Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited (MBPV). It would appear this diagram and the Concentrix Solar diagram on page 11 were added to the presentation as industry examples or in error.

So this diagram is not related to the Solaria Supercell solar panel photo. While not much detail is discernable from the Supercell photo, this does answer some key questions articulated in Solaria Keeps Solar Technology Secret and provides a photo reference to accompany Martin LaMonica’s description in Solaria shines light on high-powered solar panel.

Standard sized silicon solar cells are not used with the Supercell. Strips of what appear to be a thick photovoltaic material are inserted in the transparent polymer and arrayed at a slight angle relative to the top of the panel. This arrangement seems to look like a slightly closed Venetian blind and implies there is one correct way to orient the panel to face the sun at installation time.

Zooming in on the photo, it is now possible to understand what Mr. LaMonica meant when he said,

Viewed from the side, the solar cells are held atop small, elevated grooves molded into the plastic.

It is possible to see the cells rest on top of a polymer like substrate. Also, two bands can be seen perpendicular to the solar cell strips dissecting the panel into thirds. These bands give the panel the appearance of a large silicon solar cell. I postulate these are busbars and used to interconnect the solar cell strips.

And per the above mentioned three dimensional (3D) diagram, Stellaris plans to use thin film photovoltaic material at the bottom of each parabolic trough lens. In my opinion, this approach becomes very interesting if thin film deposition can be used to grow the photovoltaic strips on top of the trough material. This would eliminate the need to cut thin film photovoltaic strips and fasten them to the troughs with an adhesive or other process.

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