Could this be solar’s long-sought way to eliminate costly silver wiring?
Herman K. Trabish
March 26, 2014
A new design for the flow of electricity through solar cells that could cut module costs as much as 10 percent has been developed by GT Advanced Technologies.
GT’s Merlin metallization process replaces the three thick strips of silver that run through modules, called busbars, with thin lines of silver scattered through the cells. The silver lines, called fingers, function as the cell’s wiring, channeling electrons released when sunlight hits the cell’s semiconductor material into the electrical system.
GT said Merlin can be retrofitted into existing cell manufacturing lines’ screen printers. An additional attachment tool would insert a coated copper overlay with a tab at the cell's edge. Electrons flow through the Merlin architecture from the silver fingers into the copper overlay and to the tab.
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The miners have started 2014 very well indeed on the back of rising gold prices, so the question is; is this the real deal or another head fake? Is the bottom really in? Could there be a final capitulation just ahead of us? Will the summer doldrums take the PMs lower?
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