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3D solar photovoltaic cells

The problem with solar cells on the market today is that they are only 2D, meaning they produce the most power when they have direct sun exposure. Although scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed 3D solar cells that have a surface that looks like tiny pyramids that have the ability to capture more diffused light than traditional 2D solar cells. Not only do the 3D solar cells capture more diffused light and turn it into electricity but they are more resilient to dust build up since when water hits the solar panel it beads off the 3D structure and takes the dust with it, you can call them self cleaning solar panels. According to the simulations conducted by Georgia Institute of Technology, they claim the 3D solar cell surface can increase solar cell efficiency by up to 2%. I think solar cells will need to become 3D to maximize energy harvest, I wonder how long this technology will take to develop before we see 3D solar panels on the market. What do you think about 3D solar cells, do you think they will make a big difference in performance gains over traditional 2D solar...

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Mitsubishi solar increases cell efficiency

Mitsubishi Solar announced today that they have broke a world’s record in solar cell efficiency by introducing a multicrystalline silicon solar cell that boasts an efficiency of 18.9% A new world record claims, Mitsubishi Solar. I’m not sure if this is a world’s record in terms of pure efficiencies because we have blogged about a 25% solar cell that was developed in Australia a couple months ago. According to Mitsubishi they were able to achieve the 18.9% efficiency by allowing their new solar cells to absorb infrared rays in sunlight, thus achieving a new milestone with their photovoltaic solar technology. The company will be integrating the higher efficient solar cells into their solar panels product line by 2010. Personally, I don’t think this is a huge gain in efficiency since they improved their technology from 18.6% to 18.9%, its a small gain but in the right direction I suppose. What do you think about Mitsubishi’s new efficiency...

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the ability to print solar cells

Solterra Renewable Energy Technologies is on a mission to lower the cost of solar cells by introducing thin film quantum dot solar cells, which supposedly can cut the production costs of solar cells in half. Quantum Dot PV Solar Cells is an advanced manufacturing process which not only lowers cost, but increases solar cell efficiency by allowing the solar cell to capture a broader spectrum of light. The manufacturing process of quantum dot PV solar cells is similar to low-cost screen printing or the way inkjet printers work. The ability to print solar cells onto inexpensive substrates is the key to Solterra’s patented manufacturing process, which is the key reason they are able to print the cost per watt down significantly. Don’t get excited yet, this company is far from developing product for the mass public and has no efficiency data to backup the expected results of their product line. Although it will be an interesting solar technology to follow since printable solar cells can change solar power products overnight. What do you think about the ability to print solar cells onto virtually any substrate? What will quantum dot solar cells do to solar technology and most importantly the...

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