CIGSe modules in standard industrial formats have not yet attained the record efficiency demonstrated at laboratory scale. One possible cause: defects that reduce the efficiency level can form during the course of fabrication.
The Goal: Make solar cells cheaper by eliminating silver and lead from manufacturingVanessa L. Pool, a postdoctoral researcher at SLACâ€™s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, with an instrument used to observe how a solar cellâ€™s silver contacts form during high-temperature manufacturing. (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
Illustration of the initial charge transfer step in a dye sensitized solar cell. A photon from the sun is absorbed and excites the dye molecule. Subsequently, an electron can is injected into the ZnO-Layer where it can be trapped by so called interface-states. Credit: Mario Borgwardt/HZB
Photochemical cell: Light creates free charge carriers, oxygen (blue) is pumped through a membraneA photo-electrochemical cell has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna). It can chemically store the energy of ultraviolet light even at high temperatures.
On Mapdwellâ€™s satellite-map website, people can click on an individual roof to receive information about installation price, energy and financial savings, and environmental impact. Image courtesy of Mapdwell (edited by MIT News)
A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the U.S. electrical grid can't affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable. Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson proposes an underground solution to that problem.
The semi-transparent perovskite solar cell absorbs UV, blue and yellow visible light. It allows red light and infrared radiation to pass through. Based on this principle, a double-layer â€œtandem solar cellâ€ can be built with an efficiency that is much higher than single-layer solar cells. (Image: Empa)
Scientists have discovered how to make the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light. The new design, which uses silicon nanopillars to hide the wires, could dramatically boost solar-cell efficiency.