Sliver cells have several properties that make them ideally suited for use in flexible modules. Firstly, because they are fabricated from mono-crystalline silicon they have high and stable efficiencies. In addition, the elongate form factor of the cells means that when connected in series, system voltage can be rapidly built, at a rate of 5 to 10 V/cm2. Hence, battery voltage can be generated in a small area, allowing cells to be incorporated into small portable electronic devices. The dimensions of the cells mean they are naturally flexible, particularly about their long axis, and do not require any post processing for them to be incorporated into flexible modules. The cells are also lightweight, allowing high power to weight ratios to be achieved.
We are developing flexible photovoltaic modules based on SLIVER cells. The performance of these module is over 130 W/m2 with a power to weight ratio of greater than 150 W/kg, a radius of curvature of 5 cm or smaller, and operating temperatures between -40°C and +65°C. The modules are robust to shading and puncturing. Modules can be either one-sided or bifacial depending on the desired application. The modules can be incorporated into a range of applications such as portable electronics (phones, e-readers, MP3 players) or used as stand-alone power systems (for example when camping).
Modules can be flexed to radii of curvature smaller than 5cm.