Direct Wafer solar technology
Making a solar photovoltaic panel is a multi-step process, which start-up 1366 Technologies is trying to short-cut to lower the cost.
To make polycrystalline silicon solar cells, which are strung together to fill a panel, manufacturers start with silicon wafers, the flat gray sheets on the upper right. 1366's Direct Wafer technology, which is still in development, seeks to eliminate a lot of the wasted silicon in the traditional process by making wafers directly from molten silicon, rather than sawing wafers from large ingots. 1366 so far has been able to make a standard 6-inch by 6-inch wafer, the black one encased in plastic.
December 2, 2010 2:56 PM PST
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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