Concentrated photovoltaic, now on your rooftop

The most efficient solar cells are those that convert incoming concentrated solar power via lenses, the sort you see on the International Space Station or  in the sun-soaked Middle East where  Shams 1, a 100 MW CSP plant – the largest in the world –  operates, powering 20,000 United Arab Emirates homes. Because of their complex nature, concentrated solar power arrays have

World Record Solar Cell With 44.7% Efficiency

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin jointly announced today having achieved a new world record for solar cell efficiency: 44.7% That means that 44.7% of all solar energy (from the Ultraviolet to the Infrared) is gathered and transformed into electricity. After going into research just three years ago, they managed to

Quantum dots with nanowires yield greater solar cell efficiency

For some years now, scientists have been exploring the use of quantum dots as the basis for a novel type of solar cell. The advantages over conventional solar photovoltaic cells are numerous, minus one aspect: efficiency, which is actually the most important one. A new technique developed at MIT labs that uses quantum dots in conjunction with nanowires has lead

Do the math on PV efficiency

I recently came across a great article discussing solar photovoltaic (PV) efficiency. You can read it in its entirety on this website – here’s the gist. When people hear that the typical efficiency for solar power is somewhere around 15%, or even as low as 12% for organic photvoltaics, they scoff and start to mumble that this is much to low

Transparent solar cells could be used onto entire buildings, screens, and more

This has the potential to be the holy graal of solar energy – UCLA researchers have developed a new organic polymer that produces electricity, is nearly transparent and much more resistant than silicone. If you think about solar cells, usually, the blacker the better – the blacker they are, the less energy is lost. But what if we could make

Team develops side-illuminated ultra efficient solar cell design

The new architecture, depicted in the picture below can exceed a 40 percent conversion efficiency, and even when irradiated from the side it generates solar conversion efficiencies that rival, and may eventually surpass, even the most ultra-efficient photovolataics. The new cell was developed by researchers working on the David Ben-Gurion National Solar Research Center, and they can reach and even

How to make photosynthetic solar panels, MIT scientist explains

If you’re reading this post via e-mail or RSS, please visit the post’s page on the website to view the video interview. MIT researchers, guided by Andreas Mershin’s vision of a world fueled by cheap and renewable electricity, have recently published a paper in which they explain how photovoltaic panels made from plants can be considered a highly appealing alternative