Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Videos/Movies

Novel nanoparticle made of common mineral may help keep tumor growth at bay February 4th, 2016

New invention revolutionizes heat transport February 1st, 2016

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Digital Surf launches revolutionary SEM image colorization January 26th, 2016

Announcements

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Energy

February 4th, 2016

Putting silicon 'sawdust' in a graphene cage boosts battery performance: Approach could remove major obstacles to increasing the capacity of lithium-ion batteries January 30th, 2016

Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials: Berkeley Lab-led research team creates a high-efficiency device in 7 steps January 29th, 2016

Scientists provide new guideline for synthesis of fullerene electron acceptors January 28th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Vesper Collaborates with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Deliver First Piezoelectric MEMS Microphones: Acoustic sensing company works with top foundry to support mass-market consumer products January 21st, 2016

Imec and Cloudtag Collaborate on High Quality Frictionless Wearables for Lifestyle Coaching: Next-generation health and fitness tracker Cloudtag TrackTM launched at CES 2016 January 7th, 2016

Technical partnership at the top – Oxford Instruments and Zurich Instruments announce a technical collaboration for low temperature physics January 7th, 2016

Production of Graphene Oxide Nanosheets to Economize Fuel Cells January 1st, 2016

Research partnerships

Polar vortices observed in ferroelectric: New state of matter holds promise for ultracompact data storage and processing February 4th, 2016

Spin dynamics in an atomically thin semi-conductor February 1st, 2016

Graphene shown to safely interact with neurons in the brain January 31st, 2016

Are some people more likely to develop adverse reactions to nanoparticle-based medicines? January 31st, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials: Berkeley Lab-led research team creates a high-efficiency device in 7 steps January 29th, 2016

An alternative to platinum: Iron-nitrogen compounds as catalysts in graphene January 28th, 2016

Scientists provide new guideline for synthesis of fullerene electron acceptors January 28th, 2016

Nanostructural Changes in Solar Cells to Increase Their Efficiency January 28th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic