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[SD] Solar Cells That Set Record for Energy-Conversion

post #1 of 15
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Quote:
ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2012) — In the effort to convert sunlight into electricity, photovoltaic solar cells that use conductive organic polymers for light absorption and conversion have shown great potential. Organic polymers can be produced in high volumes at low cost, resulting in photovoltaic devices that are cheap, lightweight and flexible.
Quote:
Further, after the researchers incorporated a new infrared-absorbing polymer material provided by Sumitomo Chemical of Japan into the device, the device's architecture proved to be widely applicable and the power-conversion efficiency jumped to 10.6 percent -- a new record -- as certified by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Quote:
"Everything is done by a very low-cost wet-coating process," Yang said. "As this process is compatible with current manufacturing, I anticipate this technology will become commercially viable in the near future."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213133709.htm

Love that it's cheap and viable with current manufacturing tech. Can't wait to see these everywhere!
Edited by MIenEsEFOoL - 2/13/12 at 10:16pm
    
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post #2 of 15
Exciting, and yet sad, that the record is only 10.6 percent. Nevertheless, any increase in efficiency that is affordable and scalable is excellent.
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post #3 of 15
true. but how much impact would that have if say it was required all new home have a solar power roof?
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaze051806 View Post

true. but how much impact would that have if say it was required all new home have a solar power roof?

I still don't understand why this is not a global law in all developed nations.

The cost of laying solar panels, even expensive ones, is negligible to the cost of constructing a new structure. Assuming a building's roof is structurally sturdy, the cost of adding solar panels to it is hardly more than a high grade roofing replacement.

Imagine if all new structures and all roof replacements (which really happen quite frequently if you think about it) added another source of clean renewable energy to the electrical grid.

It may only be 10.6% efficient today, but the impact is huge, the downsides simply do not exist, and it will only get better with time.
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post

I still don't understand why this is not a global law in all developed nations.
The cost of laying solar panels, even expensive ones, is negligible to the cost of constructing a new structure. Assuming a building's roof is structurally sturdy, the cost of adding solar panels to it is hardly more than a high grade roofing replacement.
Imagine if all new structures and all roof replacements (which really happen quite frequently if you think about it) added another source of clean renewable energy to the electrical grid.
It may only be 10.6% efficient today, but the impact is huge, the downsides simply do not exist, and it will only get better with time.

I'm not to sure making such a law would be beneficial. Not all roofs would benefit from the addition of photovoltaics. There are many things that need to be considered with adding photovoltaics to any structure:
site shadows
inclination angle
roof angle
roof orientation
energy storage (if no grid is near by)
monitoring/cleaning/maintenance
weathering

There are many cases in which a green roof would be more beneficial than adding photovoltaics. That being said a law stating a % of the energy used by the building has to be renewable would be better.
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archngamin View Post

I'm not to sure making such a law would be beneficial. Not all roofs would benefit from the addition of photovoltaics. There are many things that need to be considered with adding photovoltaics to any structure:
site shadows
inclination angle
roof angle
roof orientation
energy storage (if no grid is near by)
monitoring/cleaning/maintenance
weathering
There are many cases in which a green roof would be more beneficial than adding photovoltaics. That being said a law stating a % of the energy used by the building has to be renewable would be better.

Very thoughtful, butt the end, I think we are both thinking in the same direction. Any increase in energy efficiency and renew-ability is great news, and for those of us living in financially well of nations with growing construction, it really ought to be mandated that these new constructions conform to modern environmental standards.
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post #7 of 15
I agree that new construction should be held to a higher standard. There are plenty of groups trying to make this a reality but have yet to form any type of binding legislation. Here in Chicago there is a minor form green roof legislation on new construction because photovoltaics may be in shadow 24/7 on some roofs and/or only get sun for an hour or two a day when the sun in low in the sky. On the other hand, green roofs reduce heat island effect and storm water run off. Green roofs also reuse grey water and can be used to grow fresh produce. Until more legislation is in place, money is still the best way of convincing a future (or current) building owner that spending upfront on new technologies will result in a net gain overtime.

For those interested in such a topic:
LEED
2030 challenge
Edited by Archngamin - 2/13/12 at 11:34pm
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post #8 of 15
Huh, only 10.6%, must be for organic cells? I also remember something about a solar powered(focused mirrors) Stirling heat engine getting to about 33% efficiency.

From wikipedia:
The San Jose-based company Sunpower produces cells that have an energy conversion ratio of 19.5%, well above the market average of 12–18%.[29] The most efficient solar cell so far is a multi-junction concentrator solar cell with an efficiency of 43.5%[30] produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in April 2011.
    
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post #9 of 15
I would love some sort of electric bicycle coated with solar cell absorbing paint.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post

I would love some sort of electric bicycle coated with solar cell absorbing paint.

That is quite brilliant!thumb.gif +1
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