New generation of super thin solar cells promise half price solar power

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Twin creeks technologies are claiming a cost reduction breakthrough for solar PV

Last week’s column brought you the latest, world-record-breaking achievements of the University of NSW. This week, just to balance the books a little, we thought we’d bring you news of the latest incredible overseas advance in PV cells from overseas — just to prove that solar research is pushing back the boundaries the world over.

The name of the firm is Twin Creeks, which may or may not be a nod to the superb David Lynch-produced TV series of the early nineties (or am I showing my age here?), and the breakthrough is that photovoltaic cells are created using a hydrogen ion particle accelerator.

The key is that the material used for the wafer is extremely thin yet durable. There is little wastage. As the company press release makes clear, the Twin Creeks’ technology, known as Hyperion, allows solar cell manufacturers to:

“…produce more of their products with less raw material and less capital equipment”.

But what of the cost? I hear you say. Surely advanced, cutting edge technology such as this is beyond the means of those considering putting up their own solar systems? Well no. According to the firm’s site, the minimum of wastage in the process means bring the cost of production down to a level where it is nearly compatible with the cost of producing fossil fuels.

Here’s the quote from Twin Creeks:

“That means crystalline solar panels that sell for nearly 50 percent less than conventional panels and new generations of inexpensive semiconductors.”

However the performance of the ultra thin wafers are of a similar standard to those larger wafers, says the company.

“While the ultra-thin wafers produced with Hyperion contain only a fraction of the material required for a standard wafer, the solar cells, LEDs or devices produced from the Hyperion lamina provide similar or better levels of performance as devices made from conventional “fat” wafers.”

The difference in thickness between a regular solar wafer and the new technology.

The new solar cells can be 10 times thinner.

As any supermodel will tell you, the key is thinness and in the new revolutionary Hyperion range delivered by Twin Creeks, we may have the most anorexic solar cell yet produced.

For those with a desire for more technical information (on the fabulous new solar cell not the waif-like supermodels) the company has kindly provided graphs, vids, jargon and reports here.

Comments

  1. Hi Finn
    Talking about new technologies, today i was reading the latest on the feed in tarriff changes at the end of this month, do you have any idea what they are talking about at the end of this paragraph, i copied it and pasted it out of the dpi.gov.vic site “the new Standard Feed-in Tariff will be reduced to 8 cents. This is based on the wholesale rate of power, and will be available to eligible premises producing electricity from the same range of sustainable sources, with the addition of new technologies expected in early 2013”.

    New technologies expected in early 2013 ??????

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