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  • Solar3D Files Patent Application in China
Apr 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 22, 2013 — Solar3D Inc. has filed a patent application in China to protect the design and fabrication of its next-generation 3-D solar cells.

The company’s solar cell design, inspired by light management techniques used in fiber optic devices, traps sunlight inside microphotovoltaic structures, where photons bounce around until they are converted into electrons, resulting in high efficiency and light collection throughout the day.

Initial tests using the proof-of-concept prototype proved encouraging, the company said. It will now develop an advanced manufacturing prototype, execute a pilot production run, and identify a fabrication partner to mass-produce and commercialize the device.

“Our objective is grid parity or better,” said CEO Jim Nelson. “By reengineering the solar cell to manage the light and extract more of its available power, we have made a product that: (1) is significantly more efficient, (2) can collect light from wide angles and (3) is production friendly. The end result is a solar cell that will deliver more electricity at a substantially reduced cost per kilowatt-hour.

“China and the US represent an enormous share of the world’s future demand for solar cells over the next two to three decades,” Nelson said. “Protecting the technology in China, together with the US, assures us that we have access to markets worth billions of dollars.”

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