BP boosts solar cell efficiency

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BP Solar has developed a new silicon growth process that gives a significant improvement in solar cell efficiency over traditional multi-crystalline-based solar cells.

BP said the new wafering technique, named Mono2, makes solar cells that are able to produce in excess of five to eight per cent more power than solar cells made with conventional processes.

BP Solar plans to implement the Mono2 technique in its existing equipment at the Frederick, Maryland facility, with the eventual goal being large-scale production.

Eric Daniels, vice president of technology for BP Solar, said, "BP Solar's implementation of this new growth technique will greatly improve wafer quality. This development is a great advance on the pioneering work conducted by BP Solar scientists when the first successful multi-crystal wafers were introduced more than 20 years ago."

The first modules to incorporate this process will be available in 2007. The development of Mono2 is funded in part through a manufacturing contract with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.