Cheap Energy from the Sun
Isis Project No 3656 A novel inorganic thin film photovoltaic system has been developed which offers stable low cost solar generation without using rare-metal elements.
Cheap solar technologies which are easily mass produced are highly desirable and a key part of rising to the current energy challenge; the solar cell market is growing rapidly, both in traditional silicon technologies, and also with newer inorganic and organic photovoltaic materials.
The high cost associated with silicon limits their penetration into current energy markets. Second generation inorganic thin film and 3rd generation organic photovoltaics offer the prospect of cheaper solar cells, which can be easily mass produced. A number of thin film inorganic systems have been commercially deployed, most notable are CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) or Cadmium Tellurium (CdTe) devices, both of which rely on rare elements and contain highly toxic materials.
The Oxford Invention
Researchers in Oxford have developed a new 2nd generation thin film inorganic solar cell system that performs in the visible spectrum of light, and is not composed of finite rare earth materials, or as toxic components as the current inorganic systems.
The advantages of this system include:
* Low cost per watt compared to existing solar energy technologies
* Good photochemical stability relative to other low cost organic systems
* Compatibility with existing industrial coating methods
* Aesthetic advantages such as transparency and colouring
This work is the subject of patent application, and Isis would like to talk to companies interested in the commercial scale up and processing development of this technology.
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