Verditek And Paragraf Announce The World’s First Graphene Integrated PV Cell
Paragraf, the Cambridge based experts in graphene electronics technology development, and Verditek, the clean technology company, have been working together under a joint development program to harness the significant advantages of graphene to improve the performance of solar power generation over state of the art cells and modules.
Paragraf's proprietary manufacturing process of large scale, high quality, graphene has been applied to Verditek's solar technology and the partners are pleased to announce the successful completion of their first development project. The program has developed unique methodologies to successfully produce graphene on photovoltaic Proof of Concept (PoC) cells, to harness the superior electrical and mechanical properties that graphene can impart. The revolutionary cell works without the encumbrance of metallic busbars or backplates required in conventional PV cells.
The new cell takes advantage of the superior quality of Paragraf graphene and proprietary manufacturing process to replace conventional materials with graphene, finally enabling the properties initially cited in the Nobel prize for Physics awarded in 2010 to be realized at an industrially significant scale.
Further to this breakthrough, Paragraf and Verditek have agreed to a second joint development project (JDP) to improve the performance of the cells, develop the opportunity to file patents and, upon attainment of additional performance targets, commence commercial discussions for industrial manufacture and application of the new material. The second JDP is underway with a fast-track schedule of objectives.
Dr Simon Thomas, CEO of Paragraf commented: “The potential of graphene to significantly improve the performance of today's technologies is enormous. Applying Paragraf technology to mature materials can create opportunities for improved performance. Our second project follows on seamlessly from our previous work and compliments our insights and understanding of graphene-solar cell combination. Our developments with Verditek will continue to improve on what we have achieved and demonstrate the potential Graphene can deliver when great science and engineering are combined”.
Lord David Willetts, Chairman of Verditek commented: “Verditek is now manufacturing light-weight robust photo-voltaic cells. These can be deployed in many more ways than heavy conventional cells - such as on weaker, temporary, or old roofing. We have now successfully applied graphene to a photo-voltaic (PV) cell. Graphene can enable our PV cells to be even lighter and more efficient. It enhances the performance of a PV cell by making it more conductive and eliminate the need for the electrical conductors which reduce the area of the cell actually exposed to sun-light. We have now developed the technique for applying graphene and produced a working proof of concept silicon/graphene integrated PV cell.
We are now launching the next stage of our R&D to increase the performance of these new PV cells so they are more efficient than conventional cells. At present conventional silicon PV cells convert approximately 21-23% of the energy they received into electricity. We aim to get to better than 25%. That is a big increase in the amount of electricity generated from a given area of PV cell. Our lightweight and efficient PV cells will then be used in a much wider range of settings. Our aim is to be able to apply them to consumer electronics such as laptops so that they can be self-charging. This is a massive advance for green energy - and for consumers who will find it much easier to access solar power than ever before.”