Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nano-tuned Solar Cells

Abstract:
Solar cells that are more effective and cost less in production: Within the EU-project N2P (Nano to Product) researchers developed nano tuned surfaces to gain both.

Nano-tuned Solar Cells

Italy | Posted on May 18th, 2011

The sun has enough power to supply the whole earth with energy. But as long as renewable energy is more expensive than energy produced by coal or nuclear plants, solar energy won't be first choice. In Europe photovoltaic cells make only a vanishing small share of renewable energy sources.

Researchers in UK, Switzerland and Germany aim to lower the costs and increase the efficiency. The N2P project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology in Dresden, Germany. Here researchers developed a process to enhance the absorption qualities of solar cells for an invisible yet important part of sunlight, infrared light. Conventional solar cells hardly make use of this wavelength. Most of it passes through the cell and is lost. By removing the nano structured surface of the wafer on the rear side of the solar cell, using a chemical etching process, it is turns into a "mirror" that reflects the infrared rays back into the cell.

As the light rays are scattered by the glass, they have a longer pathway through the silicon cell and thus generate more electrical current. So far the researchers were able to increase the efficiency by 30 percent if compared to the efficiency of standard thin film solar cells.

Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, are working on thin film solar cells. Thin film solar cells have on the one hand a lot of advantages: Producing them consumes less raw materials and energy than producing common solar cells. Additionally the time they need to pay off is shorter. On the other hand there is a drawback: currently their efficiency is about 40 percent lower than in conventional solar cells. Only seven percent of the sunlight can be exploited.

To maximize the light trapping effect they do the opposite: they roughen the glass surface of thin film solar cells. This is done to diffuse the light. When the light beam has a longer way through the cell it generates more electrons.

To roughen the upper surface Dr. Sylvain Nicolay from EPFL deposits a layer of crystals of a so called transparent conductive oxide onto the glass. "The larger the nano sized pyramids are, the higher is the diffusion", he says. The efficiency of thin film solar cells is now improved from seven to ten percent.

The nano crystals Dr Nicolay uses were developed at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK. Until recently the nano crystals had to be imported from Japan and made the production of such solar cells very expensive. Now the scientists are testing the crystals they developed on their own. The aim is to produce them much cheaper and thus reduce the costs significantly.

Each single method of improving the solar cells can only make a small difference on their efficiency. But combining both, these nano-tuned solar cells will become considerably more competitive than the modules of the past.

Corinna Luecke - youris.com

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Elisabeth Schmid
Phone: +390272002572
Fax: +390272002540
E-mail:

Copyright © youris.com

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

video available at:

Related News Press

News and information

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Amorphous Coordination Polymer Particles as alternative to classical nanoplatforms for nanomedicine October 30th, 2014

Videos/Movies

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Energy

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

Iranians Present Model to Predict Photocatalytic Process in Removal of Pollutants October 30th, 2014

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

New Compact SIMS at 61st AVS | Visit us on Booth 311 October 28th, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

'Electronic skin' could improve early breast cancer detection October 29th, 2014

European Commission opens the gate towards the implementation of Nanomedicine Translation Hub October 16th, 2014

IRLYNX and CEA-Leti to Streamline New CMOS-based Infrared Sensing Modules Dedicated to Human-activities Characterization October 15th, 2014

New VDMA Association "Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies" founded: Inaugural Meeting in Frankfurt/Main, Germany October 15th, 2014

Research partnerships

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

First Observation of Electronic Structure in Ag-Rh Alloy Nanoparticles Having Hydrogen Absorbing: Storage Property –Attempting to solve the mystery of why Ag-Rh alloy nanoparticles have a similar property to Pd– October 30th, 2014

Sussex physicists find simple solution for quantum technology challenge October 28th, 2014

New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state October 27th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE