SOURCE: Equity Solar

Equity Solar

November 16, 2011 16:49 ET

Equity Solar Demonstrates Substantial Performance Gains From Patented Solar PV Technology

Leading-Edge Process Shows Suitability for Rapid Deployment Across PV Industry

SAN ANSELMO, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2011) - Equity Solar, Inc., a company specifically established to commercialize a leading-edge solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, today announced that it has demonstrated a significant increase in cell efficiency using its patented room-temperature wet chemical growth (RTWCG) process for creating silicon oxide coatings on solar cells.

Equity Solar's process, when used on the front side of a solar cell, delivers an efficiency increase of 0.5% (absolute) on both mono- and multi-crystalline silicon substrates. Furthermore, the process takes place in an existing phosphosilicate glass (PSG) etch tool -- equipment that is deployed in almost all PV cell manufacturing facilities worldwide.

"By changing the current PSG etch chemistry to Equity Solar's silicon oxide growth chemistry, a thin oxide is grown that improves the cell in two ways: improved surface condition and a lower reflectance," said Greg Knight, Chief Technology Officer of Equity Solar. "These two effects lead to substantial improvements in both voltage and current of the solar cell. As we continue optimizing the process we expect to see additional performance improvements, while at the same time we will maintain our focus on ensuring that our process is well suited for easy adoption into existing cell fabs."

"In this highly competitive environment, cell manufacturers are looking for ways to increase cell efficiency without making additional capital investment," said Equity Solar Chairman Chester Aldridge. "We've been working closely with several major materials companies and equipment manufacturers to commercialize our process. Having successfully completed our primary validation phase on a production line, we are now ready to choose our commercialization partner to bring this technology to market."

In addition to its front-side oxidation process, Equity Solar has been making strides in its development of a novel silicon oxide process for rear-side passivation using the same underlying technology. Rear-side passivation is a critical requirement of PV manufacturers' roadmaps, as it not only increases cell efficiency but enables manufacturers to use thinner silicon wafers, leading to a significant decrease in cost per watt.

"Initial data from development on our rear-side process indicates an encouraging increase in cell efficiency," said Knight. "As with our front-side process, we are taking advantage of an existing process step that is already widely used -- the emitter etch process -- and using our chemistry to grow silicon oxide on the rear side of the solar cell while at the same time removing the parasitic emitter. In this way we will continue to isolate the cell, but will also create a rear-passivated structure in a highly cost-effective way."

About Equity Solar, Inc.

Equity Solar, Inc. was specifically formed to commercialize a leading-edge patented solar photovoltaic (PV) technology licensed from Special Materials Research and Technology (SPECMAT).

Equity Solar, Inc. was founded and incubated by the management team of US Equity Holdings. For more information, visit www.usequityholdings.com.

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