This week, Sweden based Sol Voltaics has announced that it intends to commercialise its new product that it believes could be a real game changer for the solar industry. The product consists of an ink that contains microscopic nanowire semiconductors which can boost the efficiency of solar panels by 25% at very little cost.
Increasing solar panel efficiency is important as it is the easiest way to reduce the cost of solar power, in terms of both the cost per watt for energy generation, and also the installation costs as fewer panels will be needed.
The idea of using nanowires to improve solar efficiency has been around for years, but the problem was always that nanowires are expensive and slow to produce in large numbers. They are generally grown on a substrate in a batch process that does not scale up.