Cheaper, longer lasting dye-sensitized solar cells

Dye-sensitized solar cells have long held the promise of cheap, easy to make solar cells, but it’s been difficult for the companies involved to actually make and sell them.   But last week there was an announcement out of Northwestern University that could change that.   The Northwestern University research … Continue reading

Update on Concentrating Photovoltaic Solar (CPV)

From Reuters comes an update of the latest in concentrating photovoltaic solar (CPV), which is a relatively new technology that focuses the sun’s rays to deliver additional power. It’s backers claim that CPV can be competitive without the need for government subsidies.  Recently, a few new companies have invested a … Continue reading

Researchers create working solar cell that harvests additional electrons

Researchers have created the first solar cells capable of harvesting more than one electron for every photon of light that hits it. Credit: Science/AAAS Solar cell researchers have long known that much of the energy in sunlight gets wasted instead of converted to energy when it hits a solar cell. … Continue reading

First Solar hits record for thin-film solar efficiency

First Solar Inc (FSLR) has hit another efficiency record for its thin film solar cells, and has announced that they will incorporate the new methods into their manufacturing process starting next quarter.    First Solar will use their efficiency gain to compete against cost reductions by Chinese solar companies.   … Continue reading

$150m loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies to drive down the cost of solar panels

The U.S. Department of Energy announced this week a new package of $231m to support the development of solar wafer technology, offshore wind, and geothermal energy.  The largest initiative was for a $150m loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies – they’ve been developing a process that uses molten silicon to dramatically reduce … Continue reading

New efficiency record achieved for CIGS cells

CIGS cells from EMPA Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have hit a new world record for CIGS flexible solar cells of 18.7 percent.  Their new CIGS cells (copper, indium, gallium, (di)selenide) broke their own previous world record of 17.6 percent, which was achieved … Continue reading

HyperSolar developing low cost solar concentrators to increase solar cell efficiency

HyperSolar, a small company in Santa Barbara, CA, recently announced that it is using low cost manufacturing processes to develop a solar concentrator that can sit on top of existing solar cells.  The benefit of a solar concentrator is that it increases the amount of usable solar energy hitting the … Continue reading

U.S. Department of Energy announces “SunShot” program to reduce solar cell costs

On Friday, U.S. DoE Secretary Steven Chu provided details of the new SunShot initiative, designed to reduce the cost of solar power by 75% in 10 years. The target of $1 per installed watt will make solar power cost competitive with fossil fuels, and will eliminate the need for expensive … Continue reading

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