15 Photovoltaics Solar Power Innovations

Posted on September 20, 2008  Comments (4)

15 Photovoltaics Solar Power Innovations You Must See

Researchers at McMaster University (coolest name ever) have succeeded in ‘growing’ light-absorbing nanowires made of high-performance photovoltaic materials on carbon-nanotube fabric. In other words, hairy solar panels.

The aim is to produce flexible, affordable solar cells that, within five years, will achieve a conversion efficiency of 20%. Longer term, it’s theoretically possible to achieve 40% efficiency!

while looking for a solution, researchers noticed that moths have very non-reflective eyes (“most likely an evolutionary defense against nocturnal predators”). The moth-eye process creates panels that reflect less than 2% of light. That’s a vast improvement over the 35 to 40% reflection rate seen without the anti-reflection coating layers.

Some experts are speculating that First Solar might beat over 80 competitors to achieve manufacturing costs low enough to market solar panels at less than $1 per Watt, the target considered necessary for solar to compete with coal-burning electricity on the grid.

Related: Solar Power: Economics, Government and TechnologyCost Efficient Solar Dish by Studentsposts on solar energyLarge-Scale, Cheap Solar Electricity

4 Responses to “15 Photovoltaics Solar Power Innovations”

  1. Michael Stubblefield
    September 21st, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

    I don’t know if you saw it the other day, but there was a kid who created a more efficient solar cell http://cleantechnica.com/2008/09/17/12-year-old-boy-invents-new-type-of-solar-cell/

  2. JohnB
    November 8th, 2008 @ 7:39 am

    Is it just me or it seems that now-a-days everyone is trying to incorporate nanotechnologies everywhere? Which is actually good because it can lead to such awesome projects as this one, however, when I see nano technologies in shoes and teacups, I get rather skeptical.

  3. Georgios A.
    February 17th, 2009 @ 8:09 am

    Really interesting article. However I do believe that even with the silicon crystalline the 1$ cost will be achieved since many companies now are producing solar polysilicon. Upgraded metallurgical silicon is another solution to the high polysilicon cost as well. That does not mean off course that the new technologies like nanomaterials will not help in the solar industry.

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