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Solar Rivalry Heats Up Over Tandem-type Panels

Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics, Jun 26, 2009
Source: TechOn

A number of “tandem-type” amorphous silicon thin film solar panels were exhibited at PV Japan 2009, an exhibition of photovoltaic technologies that is running from June 24 to 26, 2009, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.  A tandem-type panel consists of different kinds of solar cells and can convert light in a wider wavelength range to electricity. The exhibited tandem-type panels were composed of amorphous silicon and microcrystalline silicon and expected to be used for industrial photovoltaic systems. (more…)

Xunlight Establishes Xunlight 26 Solar to Commercialize CdTe Photovoltaics

Toledo, Ohio – April 25, 2008 
Source: Xunlight press release

Xunlight Corporation, a leader in the development of low cost and flexible thin-film silicon solar modules, today announced the company and Dr. Alvin D. Compaan established  Xunlight 26 Solar, LLC (“X26” ) to develop and commercialize lightweight and flexible solar cells based on cadmium telluride and other II-VI compound semiconductors.  Xunlight’s Board of Directors approved the formation and investment in X26 to start the research and development work in the related areas. Dr. Xunming Deng, President and CEO, Xunlight, Dr. Compaan, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, University of Toledo, and Mr. Matthew Longthorne, Vice  President of Corporate Development and Strategies, were elected to be the Board of Directors of X26.  Initially, Mr. Longthorne serves as X26’s President and Dr. Compaan serves as its Chief Technology Officer.   (more…)

Windows coated with world’s tiniest solar cells


Researchers Light Up Bus Shelter With Flexible Solar Cells

By Jonathan Bardelline – Jonathan Bardelline, Jun 16, 2009 

One of the bus shelters on the McMaster University campus is powered entirely by two solar cells rigged to its roof, but what makes the solar cells stand out is that, unlike most solar panels, they don’t stand out.  Engineering researchers at the Canadian university developed the cells as flexible strips (below, right), allowing them to bend along with the shelter’s curved roof, as opposed to sticking out from the roof in flat panels like most solar installations. (more…)

LG Display to invest $40 million in thin film solar cell R&D line

Seoul, Korea Jun 16, 2009

 Flat-screen maker LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday it would invest 50 billion won ($40 million) in a pilot line and testing facility for solar power cells, aiming for commercial production in 2012.  LG Display, the world’s No. 2 maker of liquid crystal display screens, is one of many technology firms broadening their business to the high-potential renewable energy areas. (more…)

Advances in monolithic series-interconnected Dye-Sensitized solar-cell development

by Yasuhiko Takeda, Naohiko Kato, and Tatsuo Toyoda, 15 April 2009,
Source: SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.1200903.1581

A new type of dye-sensitized solar-cell module has achieved transparency and color choice, facilitating mass production.  Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) offer various advantages, including freedom of design as well as lower costs and energy consumption, in production processes as compared to silicon-based solar cells.1,2 Monolithic series-interconnected modules—characterized by a structure similar to that of amorphous-silicon solar-cell architectures—are the most promising DSC-module type for mass production.3 However, these modules neutralize the unique transparency advantage of DSCs, because they use black, carbon-based counter electrodes (CEs) as well as rutile-based opaque separators between the photo-electrodes of porous anatase and the corresponding CEs. (more…)

The road and roadblocks to efficient solar cells

By Justin Smith, 14 April 2009

When talking about solar cells, the key figures that are repeatedly brought up are cost and the efficiency of any particular cell. While the cost of a cell is, on the surface at least, fairly straightforward, efficiency can be a bit harder to pin down at first.  Basically, the efficiency of a solar cell is measured by how much electricity is converted from the sunlight that hits it; the energy conversion efficiency of a solar cell is the percentage of sunlight converted by the cell into electricity. In traditional monocrystalline, multicrystalline and thin film cells, most of the light is not converted into electricity, but is either reflected, turned into heat or passes right through the cell. (more…)

SANYO to Build New HIT Solar Cell Production Facilities at Nishikinohama Factory

Meeting the actively growing market demand, with future potential increases possible
Tokyo, February 16, 2009
Source: Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd press release

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) announces that it will increase production capacity for HIT solar cells by building new production facilities inside the grounds of the Nishikinohama Factory (Kaizuka City, Osaka), already a production base for SANYO’s proprietary HIT solar cells, to meet active demand for solar power generation equipment around the world.  The new building construction will begin on February 17, and is expected to reach completion by October 2009. While reviewing the market conditions, production is expected to start immediately to be better able to respond to market demands, and thereafter considered with a view to increase the facilities’ productivity as necessary. (more…)

Toray Claims ‘Highest Efficiency’ for Organic Thin-film Solar Cell

by Hiroshi Idegawa, Nikkei Monozukuri /Mar 24, 2009
Source: TechOn

Toray Industries Inc developed a new polymer donor material, a main material for organic thin-film solar cells, and realized an organic thin-film solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 5.5%. The conversion efficiency is higher than the 5.15%, the highest efficiency that has so far been announced in academic conferences. The company plans to further improve the material performance, aiming to commercialize an organic thin-film solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 7% until 2015. (more…)

Salford Univ’s single-step solar cells

More efficient, cost-effective and durable thin-film solar cells could be made by adapting the sputtering technique used to create anti-reflection glass.
Siobhan Wagner, 14 January 2009
Source: The Engineer

Researchers at Salford University believe the method is ideal for the large-scale deposition of copper indium diselenide (CIS) — a thin-film photovoltaic material that is seen as a more efficient alternative to amorphous silicon.  CIS cells absorb 99 per cent of the sunlight that hits them and have the potential to convert 20 per cent of this into useful electrical power. They are also better able to withstand damage from solar radiation, so are ideal for use in space-based applications. (more…)

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