Rayton Solar Patents Less Expensive, More Efficient Solar Panel

Rayton Solar, headquartered in California, says it can make a solar panel for less than any other manufacturer and that its panels convert more sunlight into electricity than any of its competitors. That makes a Rayton Solar panel the most cos- effective source of renewable energy in the world. That’s quite a claim. Can it back it up?

Yes, says Andrew Yakub, Rayton Solar’s CEO and founder. Andrew is a particle-beam physicist and cleantech entrepreneur who decided to take his unique perspective and create the most efficient solar panel possible. With his experience at UCLA’s Particle Beam Physics Lab and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Andrew is dedicated to clean energy that will last.

Rayton Solar has developed the technology to produce solar panels that are 62% cheaper than the industry standard and 25% more efficient. It is the only company in the world that can produce 4-micron-thick silicon without any waste. That reduces the amount of silicon used per solar panel by a factor of 50 or more times. Less silicon means manufacturing costs are 60% lower and that means Rayton Solar panels can produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity for less than the cheapest fossil fuels.

How does Rayton Solar do that? According to the company website, conventional solar manufacturing wastes a lot of silicon. Silicon only needs to be 4 microns thick to carry an electrical charge, so anything thicker is a waste of material.

Standard practice in the industry is to cut a raw silicon ingot with a diamond wire, which cannot cut thinner than 150–200 microns due to mechanical friction. By using a particle accelerator instead of a diamond wire, Rayton Solar can reliably produce silicon wafers that are only 4 microns thick. It is the only company currently capable of working with 4 micron silicon strips without breakage.

The result is a solar panel that is 24% efficient. Most ordinary panels are only 17% efficient. Rayton Solar can produce 20 solar panels using the same amount of silicon typically used to create just one. More electricity for less money; that’s the Rayton Solar secret. The technology allows solar power to be even more cost competitive with fossil fuels without the need for government subsidies. That may be an important consideration at this time next year, when Congress must decide whether or not to extend the existing federal solar tax credit.

You don’t have to know what a particle accelerator is to understand that a solar panel that costs less than half as much to manufacture yet produces 25% more electricity is a good deal for all concerned.

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writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.