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Archive for the ‘Green Technology’ Category

Spray-on Solar Goes Double-decker – Technology Review

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Quantum-dot cells designed with two layers open potential for higher efficiencies.

  • FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011
  • BY TYLER HAMILTON

Solar dots: Each of these 16 dots is a solar cell made up of nanoscopic particles called quantum dots.

A research team at the University of Toronto has created the first two-layer solar cell made up of light-absorbing nanoparticles called quantum dots. Quantum dots, which can be tuned to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum by varying their size, have been seen as a promising route to low-cost solar cells because the particles can be sprayed onto surfaces much like paint. But cells based on this technology have been too inefficient to be practical. By discovering a way to combine two different types of quantum dots in a solar cell, the researchers could open the way to making such cells much more efficient.

Conventional solar cells are tuned to convert light of only one wavelength into electricity; the rest of the solar spectrum either passes through or is converted inefficiently. To harness a greater percentage of the energy in sunlight, manufacturers sometimes stack materials designed to capture different parts of the spectrum. A two-layer cell, called a tandem-junction cell, can theoretically achieve 42 percent efficiency, compared with a maximum theoretical efficiency of 31 percent for cells with a single layer. read more>Spray-on Solar Goes Double-decker – Technology Review.

Yes for Real, We Now Have a Genuine Artificial Solar Leaf – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Green Technology

Yet another new breakthrough in low cost solar energy just made its debut, and this one is a doozy: a solar cell the size of a typical leaf, that actually creates energy the same way a leaf does: with photosynthesis. No, for real. You just park it in a bucket of water and it generates enough electricity to power household devices… eventually (more on that below). The announcement was made by the lead researcher on the MIT-based project, Dr. Daniel Nocera, who said, “A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades.”

Solar Power from an Artificial Leaf

The new solar cell is about about the size… read more: Yes for Real, We Now Have a Genuine Artificial Solar Leaf – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views.