New technology promises solar cell efficiency boost
November 13, 2007 Global Warming Solutions has announced the development of new solar energy conversion technology based on a special coating that can be applied to existing solar cells. The company expects that application of the technology will increase increase efficiency by 11-15% and boost the market value of a solar cell by more than 60 cents per watt, while at the same time raising manufacturing expenses by just 10 cents a watt.
The increased efficiency is achieved through a novel organic polymer coating for solar cells that is easily integrated into existing solar panel manufacturing technologies. The technology is needed primarily because existing commercial photovoltaic cells (PVCs) transform only small parts of the visible and infrared spectrums into electricity.
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Global Warming Solutions is also working on a number of other ways to improve solar efficiency. These include multi-layered structures of two or more PVCs to create hybrid PVCs. To increase the transformation efficiency in hybrid PVCs, two-sided silicon photocells are used. Not only is direct sunlight transformed but also sunlight reflected from ground surfaces, house roofs or special reflecting surfaces, placed behind the PVC. Certain improvements over traditional silicon PVCs can be achieved through hybrid PVC. Collectively, these provide an increase in the efficiency of the transformation of solar radiation into electric energy, along with the production of collateral thermal energy. Hybrid PVCs seem like a good option from an economic standpoint, with minimal additional expenses associated with the production of hybrid modules.
In an industry constantly striving to reduce costs and increase efficiency in effort to make solar more affordable and accessible Vladimir Vasilenko, chief executive officer of Global Warming Solutions, believes the new coating, and the manufacturing process, will be beneficial to the solar industry.
In related reading, another effort to boost solar efficiency, Braggone has discovered a method of capturing more light in a solar cell. The result is a new product line that greatly increases the efficiency of solar cells and allows manufacturing facilities to cost-effectively increase their capacity.