Phoenix Nuclear Labs signs deal to slice silicon panels for solar panel manufacturer

Phoenix Nuclear Labs, Monona, has been saying its technology is cutting-edge. Now, the company can prove it.

Phoenix has signed a long-term contract with Rayton Solar, a Santa Monica, California, company that plans to use Phoenix’s proton accelerators to help make solar panels.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In traditional manufacturing of solar panels, Rayton Solar says, diamond wire saws are used to cut thin layers of silicon, leaving wasted silicon sawdust.

Using Phoenix’s proton accelerators, high-current ion beams can produce thin silicon slices with no waste, the company says. That’s done by embedding protons into the silicon, heating it at a specific depth. The top layer pulls off the surface, creating a sheet of silicon that is one-twentieth the width of a human hair.

“We are capable of making up to 100 times as many solar panels with the same amount of silicon that our competitors use to make just one panel,” Rayton Solar CEO Andrew Yakub said. “Implementing this new manufacturing process will represent a revolutionary step for the solar industry.”

Phoenix is scheduled to deliver the first system by the end of 2017, with several additional units expected in 2018 and 2019, the company said.