From Electrek: The sun is still rising – Purdue University and NREL chasing ‘hot electrons’...

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    Sep 28, 2016
    The sun is still rising – Purdue University and NREL chasing ‘hot electrons’ for solar power price reductions


    Researchers at Purdue University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have shown that a new crystalline material has the capacity to double the efficiency of solar cells, producing solar panels that are theoretically ‘two thirds’ efficient – instead of the current one-third efficiency available from the mainstream, silicon-inspired solar cells. Their goal is to catch ‘hot electrons’ with this hybrid-perovskite material.

    Solar power research has shown that there is significant space for efficiency gains that will lower pricing even further than has already happened. If you read our Electrek Green Energy Brief (9 AM M-F) you’ll see constant updates from the industry showing a pathway from today’s standard 16% efficiency through a potential 26% efficiency with silicon only. Right now, we’re seeing PERC hardware upgrades across the industry. PERC, without any further research – just implementation and significant capital upgrades, seems to give a clear path to a 22% efficiency. If the whole of the solar industry can upgrade from a 16-17% average to a 22% average – the price per watt will fall 30% further – and that’s before we start considering next generation research from universities like Purdue.


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