Photovoltaics/Thin Film Miscellaneous 030722

Thin Film Miscellaneous
(July 2003) Ener1 tests new prototype solar cell. The new high-efficiency solar cell is based on photo-electro converters (PEC) to permit high utilization of available solar energy for electrical energy generation and storage.  In developing its new PEC-based solar cell, Ener1 used several techniques including its new vacuum spraying technique and high-efficiency photo-lithographic process.  Ener1’s tests of its new PEC-based solar cell indicate significant improvements in key solar cell characteristics such as efficiency (19-21%) and increased power.
The Company’s tests indicate that its PEC-based solar cell system is stable under radiation and is suitable for space-based applications.  

United Solar Systems and Bekaert ECD Solar Systems inaugurates world’s largest thin-film solar cell manufacturing machine and related assembly equipment. The installation is at its Bekaert ECD Solar System facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The new machine is capable of producing nine miles of solar cells in three days’ time making it one of the four largest producers of solar cells and related products in the United States.(08-02BD77-10)
Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles in Scotland researches the production of fabrics with solar cells. Professor John Wilson is working on creating solar cells which are as much as 100 times thinner than those cells used today in solar panels made of crystals of silicon. Prof. Wilson believes that a workable cell can be created by depositing thin films of silicon on to a glass substrate. Theoretically, these films, only a few microns thick, could be laid in to fabrics or clothing fibers prior to the weaving process. It is hoped that the textiles could be efficient enough to produce 100 Watts per sq. meter in very sunny locations. Improvements in cell efficiency might be offered by the latest crystalline silicon nanotubes. Perhaps such a patch on a jacket or bag could power a laptop or trickle-charge a mobile phone or PDA. (07-02BD76-3)