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Solar cells

More Efficient Thin-Film Solar Cells

Written by , on February 17, 2012

A team of researchers from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology and Suntech have developed what they clain to be the world’s most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic thin-film solar cells. The researchers initially improved silicon based thin film cell efficiency by embedding gold and silver nanoparticles into the cells. This increases the wavelength range of the absorbed […]  Read more »

Solar Power from Grass Clippings

Written by , on February 4, 2012

In the video below, MIT researcher Andreas Mershin describes advances in producing photovoltaic cells based on waste plant material, such as grass clippings. The work is an extension of a project begun eight years ago by Shuguang Zhang, associate director at MIT’s Center for Biomedical Engineering. Zhang extracted the tiny structures within plant cells that […]  Read more »

Advance Could Enable Solar Powered Phones

Written by , on January 11, 2012

Molecular Solar Ltd, a company spun out of the UK’s University of Warwick, has demonstrated a record voltage of more than 4 volts from organic photovoltaic solar cells. Being able to achieve 4 volts means that low cost organic PV cells could be used for built-in charging of handheld electronic devices, such as mobile phones […]  Read more »

Cheaper Thin Film Solar Production

Written by , on September 8, 2010

Swiss company Oerlikon Solar has announced that it has developed of a new “ThinFab” thin film solar production method that it says could drive costs down to around 70 cents per watt. Costs have been generally around $1.50 per watt for some time although First Solar announced in February 2009 that it had achieved the […]  Read more »

More Efficient Thin Film Solar Cells

Written by , on June 11, 2010

Physicists at Boston College have developed a nano-scale solar cell, inspired by the coaxial cable, which offers greater efficiency than any previously designed nanotech thin film solar cell A limiting factor in making highly efficient thin film sollar cells is the need for the cells to be thick enough to collect a sufficient amount of […]  Read more »

Cheaper Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

Written by , on June 7, 2010

A team led by Professor Benoît Marsan at the Université du Québec à Montréal say that they have solved some of the problems have been hampering the development of efficient and affordable solar cells. One of the most promising solar cells designs is the dye-sensitized cell, which was designed in the early ’90s based on the […]  Read more »

Silicon Wire Cells Using 99% Less Silicon

Written by , on May 15, 2010

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have reported in Nature Materials journal that they have devised a way to make flexible solar cells with silicon wires that use just 1 percent of the material needed to make conventional solar cells. The new material uses conventional silicon configured into micron-sized wires instead of […]  Read more »

Stylish Building-Integrated Solar

Written by , on February 8, 2010

One of the biggest challenges for architects and developers wanting to integrate solar power generation with building materials is aesthetics. Many building-integrated solar technologies are also somewhat inefficient, which means that large parts of a building have to be covered with solar energy-gathering materials to get significant benefits. The Center for Architecture and Science, which […]  Read more »

Cheap, Efficient 3-D Solar Cells

Written by , on January 13, 2010

Researchers led by Dr Zhong Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed what they call the world’s first 3-D solar panel system. They claim that their system is cheaper, and up to six times more efficient, than conventional. planar solar cells. Instead of using traditional solar panels, the system captures sunlight and turns […]  Read more »

Aussies Break Another Solar Efficiency Record

Written by , on August 26, 2009

A team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at  the University of New South Wales, have claimed the highest efficiency for solar power ever recorded. The team has achieved 43% of sunlight converted into electricity at the research stage. The UNSW team combined a cell […]  Read more »