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QuantaSol breaks efficiency record

‘ At the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition QuantaSol announced their world record breaking solar cell that is 28.3% efficient. Founded as a spin off from Imperial College in London, the company started in 2007 to focus in commercializing the solar technology developed at the university. QuantaSol not only claims they have developed the most efficient solar cell on the market but they say the manufacturing process is an ease. The company’s secrete sauce to their highly efficient solar cells is the nanotechnology behind their products. This is good news for mass market customers because the trend of the solar industry is more highly efficient at lower costs, this is the perfect recipe for solar power to go mainstream, wouldn’t you...

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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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breaking world records for thin film solar cells

Ascent Solar, a company which focuses on developing cutting edge thin film technology recently announced they have successfully developed a thin film solar cell made of CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) that reached efficiencies of greater then 9.5%. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) independently verified that the solar panels made by Ascent Solar measured as high as 9.64% conversion efficiency. CIGS solar cells are made of a plastic substrate compared to silicon which is the material traditional solar cells are composed of. CIGS solar panels are flexible and can be delivered at a lower cost compared to silicon base solar cells. With efficiencies of thin film solar cells now reaching close to 10%, thin film is becoming a more viable solution for residential installations. Moving forward I think thin film solar cells are going to get much better replacing silicon based solar cells all together, wouldn’t you think so? The advantages of thin film solar cells is that they can be integrated into items such as roofing shingles, sides of buildings..etc…what would be other places we could integrate thin film solar cells into? Ascent Solar has not commercialized this technology yet, although according to the company they are working towards more highly efficient and even lower cost solar panels that will be commercialized sooner than later. Do you think the company will be able to...

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Trina Solar announces new Solar Panel development

Trina Solar, a vertically integrated manufacturer of mono & multi crystalline solar photovoltaic panels made an announcement that they are developing a new solar panel using Upgraded Metallurgical Grade (UMG) silicon material. UMG is a mixture of various solar grade silicon although is capable of efficiencies similar to higher grade silicon. What this means to consumers is that you will see a lower price per watt for solar panels because manufactures are figuring out how get more juice out of silicon that was typically considered “lower grade”. Trina Solar will be selling these panels under a different brand name and the panels will come with a 20 year warranty. Trina Solar claims that even though they are using lower grade silicon for these solar panels they are claiming these solar panels will achieve a 14% conversion...

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Suniva’s 20% Efficent Solar Cell

Suniva, a newer entrant in the photovoltaic solar cell market claims its Research & Development team has created a solar cell that is capable of 20% efficiency using a simple cell design and screen printing technologies. The company backs up their claim by having their technology verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). According to Suniva’s Founder & CTO, the company increase conversion efficiency while reducing processing time and achieving low costs. Suniva, manufacturers and markets its high efficiency solar cells under the ARTisun brand name which focuses on an intersection between high effiecncey and low cost. What does this mean to you? The purpose of this blog is to first understand how important solar cell technology is the overall adoption rate of solar photovoltaic technology, as the efficiencies increase and costs decrease, that means more affordable solar panels that break even quicker, this trend in technology will eventually be responsible for mass adoption of solar panels. Typically a group of solar cells make up a solar panel (module), check out my previous post titled, “Solar Arrays Explained” to understand how individual solars cells become a solar...

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