Reel Solar's core technology is rapid electroplating using distributed contacts. This technology enables high throughput electroplating of cadmium telluride on large substrates, leading to dramatic cost savings in manufacturing and installed cost. Reel Solar's technology is protected by international patents.
Reel Solar has met or exceeded the R&D performance of all industry leaders by increasing efficiency by at least one full percentage point in each of the last four years. And there is a continuing roadmap where we will continue to do the same. This will provide partners that use Reel Solar technology with the confidence of maintaining value leadership going forward, without large R&D investments.
In addition to efficiency, Reel Solar is developing its next generation panel, which will have an area of 2.88 square meters and further improve the economics of out CdTe panel technology.
Reel Solar Modules
The specifications of solar modules may vary depending on the regional manufacturing partner's infrastructure and selected options. A typical module will be 1 m x 2 m in size and have a power output of 250-300W . Electrical output is in the range of 30-40V and 7-9A.
CdTe photvoltaics have proven efficiency, reliability, sustainability and profitability. Modules produced using Reel Solar technology offer the following additional benefits:
- Compared to conventional CdTe modules, Reel Solar modules are more than twice the size, leading to greater power per module and therefore lower manufacturing & installation costs.
- Modules will be produced at less than 30 cents per Watt in 2018, with a path to less than 20 cents per Watt.
- Reel Solar provides the option to use conventional solar glass or tempered glass with or without frames.
- Excellent high temperature and low light performance leading to superior kWh/kWp production.
- Panel size and output similar to 60 cell silicon modules, leading to similar balance of system and installation costs.
- Reel Solar modules are two-thirds the cost for the same module size and energy output as compared to crystalline silicon modules.
- Industry standard CdTe module architecture with metal back contact, giving proven reliability.
Reel Solar's reference designs are initially targeted to commercial and utility scale ground mount applications. Future products will cater to residential and commercial rooftops, as well as BIPV applications such as windows and roof tiles.
Reel Solar Process and Tools
Reel Solar manufactures the key tools for electro-deposition of cadmium telluride. Electro-deposition tools are very simple to operate and maintain compared to conventional thin film deposition equipment, and the capital and operating costs are much less.
Much of the manufacturing line is industry standard and available from selected equipment vendors. Reel Solar essentially offers a "virtual turnkey" line at an unprecedented low cost of ownership.
As the manufacturing cost of modules falls relative to shipping costs and duties, regional manufacturing becomes increasingly viable. Reel Solar has also brought down the capital cost of setting up local PV manufacturing. With Reel Solar technology every region can enjoy local manufacturing jobs and energy security.
Sustainable Advantage of the Reel Solar Process
The main source of Reel Solar's cost advantage is easy to understand. Reel Solar uses a proprietary low temperature, atmospheric deposition process. Using a low temperature process means that Reel Solar can make large modules with inexpensive equipment. The cost benefits are analogous to those experienced in the semiconductor industry when moving from 200 mm wafers to 450 mm wafers. The raw materials costs using Reel Solar technology is also much less expensive compared to materials required in high temperature, vacuum deposition processes. We invite potential partners to "run the numbers"; the advantages of large CdTe modules are clear and sustainable.