Israeli startup bSolar has announced the creation of double-sided solar cells, which aim to produce up to 50 percent more electricity than traditional one-sided panels. The company's photovoltaic cells get a boost in their efficiency by taking the unusual step of using boron instead of an aluminum backing, the company's co-founder and CEO Yossi Kofman tells GigaOM. By using the boron's black surface field, bSolar created an open rear face. That allows sunlight to be reflected back onto the front of the cell, where energy can be harvested again. The company is making its solar cells with monocrystalline silicon wafers, which can be a more challenging and expensive process. However, Kofman said, it also allows for a higher conversion rate of sunlight into electricity. At present, bSolar’s bifacial photovoltaics have the highest energy efficiency rating of any mono crystalline silicon cell.

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