Solar3D, Inc. is developing a breakthrough 3-dimensional solar cell technology to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Up to 30% of
incident sunlight is currently reflected off the surface of conventional solar cells, and more is lost inside the solar cell materials. Inspired by light management techniques used in fiber optic devices, our innovative solar cell technology utilizes a
3-dimensional design to trap sunlight inside micro-photovoltaic structures where photons bounce around until they are converted into electrons. This next generation solar cell will be dramatically more efficient, resulting in a lower cost per watt that will make solar power affordable for the world.
via Solar3D - Breakthrough 3-Dimensional Solar Cell Technology.
February 23, 2011 – Solar3D, Inc. (OTCBB: SLTD), the developer of a breakthrough 3-dimensional solar cell technology to maximize the conversion of sunlight into electricity, today announced that its design will take advantage of low cost semiconductor processes to enable mass production. ... Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D, commented, “In the solar industry, it is not enough to have high efficiency, you must also be low cost. We started our company with the mantra of ‘Breakthrough Product, Common Manufacturing,’ and I am pleased to report that we are right on track.” ... “In the end, we intend to achieve what every solar innovator hopes for: More Power, in a Smaller Space, for Less Money.”
If I want to do it from scratch all the way, I need to figure out how to grow silicon crystals that are used in solar cells. There are many methods each with tradeoffs.
Here is an interesting video on manufacturing of Silicon computer chips.
Here is how solar cells are manufactured:
Let's see... I need some sand... some argon gas... a very high temperature heat source ... a crucible ... Hmmm. It is cheaper to just buy the cells.