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Directory:Photovoltaic Research and Development

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A directory of articles and resources pertaining to research and development on solar photovoltaics. This page was split off from the Directory:Solar PhotoVoltaics page on Aug. 24, 2010.


  • Solar > PV > R&D >
    Scientists create first solar cell with over 100 percent quantum efficiency - Researchers over at the National Renewable Energy Lab have claim to have recorded an efficiency topping out at 114 percent, by creating the first working multiple exciton generation (MEG) cell. Using MEG, a single high energy photon can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon. (Engadget; December 19, 2011)
  • Solar > PV > R&D >
    Solar powered microchips put batteries in the shade - In a new, more efficient approach to solar powered microelectronics, researchers in China have produced a microchip which directly integrates photovoltaic cells. What sets this device apart is that high-efficiency solar cells are placed straight onto the electronics, producing self-sufficient, low-power devices which are highly suitable for industrial serial production and can even operate indoors. (GizMag; December 30, 2010)
  • Solar > PV > R&D >
    Forcing Mismatched Elements Together Could Yield Better Solar Cells - In what could be a step toward higher efficiency solar cells, an international team including University of Michigan professors has invalidated the most commonly used model to explain the behavior of a unique class of materials called highly mismatched alloys. (Solar Daily; Sept. 10, 2010)
  • Solar > PV > R&D >
    PETE Process adds thermal gain to photovoltaics - Stanford engineers have come up with a new solar energy conversion process that can potentially double the efficiency of solar cells by harvesting the wasted heat energy and keeping up and utilizing the high temperatures which are reached during conversion in a process that is called ‘photon enhanced thermionic emission’ (PETE). (Alt Energy News; August 24, 2010)
  • Solar > Concentrated > PV >
    Truly Amazing Advanced Solar Cell from Israel - Prof David Faiman of Zenith Solar says: "When we collect the light, instead of using a huge area of solar cells, we use an equal area of cheap glass mirrors and they are curved in such a way as to concentrate the light onto a very small solar cell, the size of just one cell, and in this way you concentrate the light a thousand times and you can get a thousand times more power out of a small cell." (iPlanet Energy News; Apr. 26, 2010)
  • Solar > PV >
    PV Cell Prototype Generates Electricity from IR and UV Light - Scientists at the Kyoto Institute of Technology are developing a way to create a photovoltaic cell that can capture visible, infrared and ultraviolet light of the sun via a nitride semiconductor added with transition metals as a photoelectric conversion material. (Alt Energy News; April 26, 2010)
  • Solar > PV >
    Carbon-based Solar Cells - Graphene is a single sheet of carbon, one atom thick, which has potential to be utilized as an effective, less toxic and cheaper than other alternatives for solar cells. Chemists at Indiana University Bloomington are trying to develop non-sticky graphene sheets that are stable. (Alt Energy News; April 19, 2010)
  • Plastic / Solar > PV >
    Low-cost, more efficient solar cells mostly plastic - By growing arrays of silicon wires in a polymer substrate, researchers at Caltech have demonstrated what they say are flexible solar cells that absorb up to 96 percent of incident light and harvest over 90 percent quantum efficiency, compared with 25 percent for the best silicon solar cells. The wires are made up of 98 percent plastic, potentially lowering the cost of photovoltaics by using just 1/50th the amount of semiconductor material used today. (EETimes; Feb. 18, 2010)
  • Solar > PV >
    Millimeter-scale, energy-harvesting sensor could operate almost perpetually - Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. Applications include medical device implant power, remote sensors. (GizMag; Feb. 9, 2010)
  • Nanotechnology >
    3-D photovoltaic systems go where the sun don’t shine - Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a new type of three-dimensional PV system using optical fiber that promises solar generators that are foldable, concealed and mobile, meaning they could be hidden from view and leave rooftops panel-free. Sunlight entering the optical fiber passes into the nanowires, where it interacts with the dye molecules to produce electrical current. (GizMag; Nov. 2, 2009)
  • Color matters: GreenSun Energy colored solar technology - Researchers in Israel have come up with a cell that uses only 20% of the silicon in a standard cell yet yields similar amounts of electricity to a regular silicon cell, by diffusing any light that falls on its surface and sending it off to photovoltaic collector strips on each of its sides. And it doesn't even need bright sunlight to operate. (GizMag; Sept. 24, 2009)
  • More Efficient, and Cheaper, Solar Cells - Three improvements by 1366 Technologies of Massachusetts could bring the cost of solar down to about 15-16 cents/kw-h, by cost-effectively improving light trapping and collection. Videos explain how this is done, including how incoming light reflects off grooves in a silver band and is redirected along a glass cover. (MIT Technology Review; September 14, 2009)
  • Diatoms To Make Solar Cells - Engineers in Canada have discovered that instead of using silicon to make solar cells, they can get better results - three times as much electricity - by using diatoms, a type of algae in the oceans. Their hard shells are an ideal substrate, making a better, cheaper way to make energy. (EE Times; April 9, 2009)
  • Nanotech >
    Nanopillar Solar May Cost 10x Less Than Silicon - A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new kind of flexible solar cell that consist of an array of 500-nanometer-high cadmium sulfide pillars printed on top of an aluminum foil... If this could be done on a roll-to-roll process, the cost could be 10x less than crystalline silicon panels. (MIT Technology Review; July 06, 2009)
  • Plugging In Molecular Wires To Capture Light Energy - Japanese researchers have developed a new process to capture light energy theoretically at 100% efficiency. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they “plug” a molecular “wire” directly into a biological photosynthetic system to efficiently conduct the free electrons to a gold electrode. (Science Daily; Feb. 17, 2009)
  • More-Efficient Solar Cells - Day4 Energy has developed a new electrode that, together with a redesigned solar-cell structure, allows solar panels to absorb more light and operate at a higher voltage, increasing the efficiency of multicrystalline silicon solar panels from about 14% to nearly 17%. (MIT Technology Review; August 14, 2008)

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