New tests suggest that the world’s first 3D solar cell generates significantly more energy then was assumed. The company behind the new solar cell, Solar 3D, has published a statement saying that they have manufactured and tested the first 3D solar cell. The new solar cell is made from silicon and can generate 2,5 times as much electricity than normal solar cells.
Normal solar cells have one or more thin layers which turn sunlight into electricity. However, over 30 percent of sunlight projected on normal solar cells is bounced back and even more sunlight is lost in the materials where the solar cell is made from.
The 3D solar cell is built out of multiple chambers of less than one millimeter in size. Sunlight penetrating these little chambers is reflected of the walls. Each time sunlight is reflected electricity is generated until all the sunlight is turned into electricity.
Next to the effective way of catching the sunlight, the design of the chambers gives the 3D solar cell the ability to generate electricity all day round. This is a significant improvement over traditional solar panels which heavily depend on the angle of the sun to generate electricity.