P-Type And N-Type Solar Cells’ Excellent Electron Adventure

p-type and n-type

Do you know the difference between a P-Type and N-Type solar cell, duuuuuude?

When it comes to material for making solar cells, silicon is the most bodacious of all the elements.  Its market share is an excellent circa 97%1.  If you want solar PV, there is next to no choice other than silicon.  However, there is more than one type of silicon cell, which is fortunate for people who enjoy faffing about when deciding what to buy. [Read more…]

New Year kicks off more solar cell efficiency gains

30% badge on a solar panel

30% solar cell efficiency is on the way. That would mean a 50% reduction in the cost of solar. Hooray!

Will 2016 see the beginning of the end for fossil fuels in the wake of the rise and rise of green energy? Many commentators are saying this is the case and if solar cell efficiency gains are any indication, they have a good case. [Read more…]

Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks to improve solar cell efficiency?

Image credit: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Cloak_of_Invisibility

Image credit: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Cloak_of_Invisibility

In a development that will bring a smile to the faces of Harry Potter fans, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) announced this week the success of using invisibility cloaks to improve solar cell efficiency.

While the technology sounds very J. K. Rowling, the benefits of invisibility cloaks for solar cell efficiency — or at least technology that acts very much like invisibility cloaks — are very real. [Read more…]

Sky’s the limit for solar cell innovation as new breakthrough aims for 50 percent conversion rate

50 percent efficiency

Yes you read that right : 50%

One of our favourite subjects — solar cells and more specifically solar cell innovation and breakthroughs — is covered in this week’s SQHQ spray readers.

I think I’ve mentioned, in a previous rant in these pages, one of the enduring memories I have of seeing the famous environmentalist/author/activist Professor David Suzuki in 2007 was his rhetorical question that kicked off the night: why wasn’t every house in Australia covered in solar panels? [Read more…]

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Ever wondered how solar panels actually work? We all know that they convert light into electricity – but have you ever stopped to wonder just how the heck that happens? Here I do my best to explain the inner functioning of a solar panel in plain English:

[Read more…]

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

twin creeks technologies logo

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. [Read more…]

PV world record tumbles as UNSW looks to wrap up series

Suntech and UNSW logos

Suntech and The UNSW team up and kick solar ass!

Aussies love awards and stellar achievements. Particularly when we’re on the receiving end. Best and fairest, most valuable player, player of the series, best supporting actor, Treasurer of the Year (hang on!) and so the list goes on. Our collective chests burst with pride when we hear of the achievements and world records of our sports and silver screen idols and this gives us a sense of playing on the world stage with the big boys/girls. [Read more…]

Suntech and Aussie Uni Team Up to Make Dirt Cheap Solar Cells

Victoria’s Swinburne University of Technology in Australia will be developing the most efficient, and inexpensive solar cells ever made. Along with Suntech Power Holdings Co, the biggest manufacturer of solar cells in the world. Together, they plan to invest a total of three million Australian dollars into the project and proposals have already been made to the Victorian Government with regards to extra funding.

[Read more…]

Chinese Solar Company Says Improved Solar Efficiency On The Way (based on Aussie Technology!)

The largest producer of solar panels in the world, Suntech Power Holdings, has recently reported more information regarding its latest Pluto technology. This new technology has made substantial progress in improving the conversion efficiencies of solar cell technology

Although there have been a number of improvements in technology in the industry overall, none of the others are yet ready for commercial distribution. Although the Fraunhofer Institute achieved a solar cell efficiency of over forty percent, it, also, is far from ready for mass production.

Already in the process of mass production, Suntech’s Pluto technology has employed solar panels with efficiencies of 19% in monocrystalline technology and 17% in polycrystalline panels. Other current technology currently has efficiencies of 18% and 14% respectively.

[Read more…]

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