Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Solar Cells
R_Colin_Johnson   7/10/2013 3:58:24 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree and would add that only 50 percent of the cost of PV installations is in solar cells themselves--the other 50 percent is in the mounts, stand-offs, glass coverings and such. Since thinner solar cells are lighter and more durable, then there should also be cost savings from their easier installation.

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Solar Cells
DMcCunney   7/10/2013 3:50:34 PM
NO RATINGS
The cost of the materials is likely to be the smallest component of the total cost.  Photovoltaics are semi-conductor electronics, and the cells are actually made by a wafer fab.  Wafer fabs are enormously expensive, and the single biggest part of the cost of the cells will be an allocated share of the cost to build the factory that makes them.

And that's just the cost of the cells.  The cells must be incorporated in an installation, and someone will have to build and install the panels.

The key here is what this potential new approach will allow in terms of application, whether it might allow applications that aren't currently possible, and whether it might be better in some existing applications.

This is interesting and promising, but there's a long way between theory and proof of concept, and an even longer way between proof of concept and volume manufacture.

 

 

 

Kinnar
User Rank
CEO
Re: Manufacturing costs?
Kinnar   7/10/2013 2:51:37 PM
NO RATINGS
No this is just under simulation and modeling phase, the actual manufacturing cost calculation will not be possible at present. But  it will surely lead to all the new manufacturing techniuqe being introduced as all the materials being discussed here are not being used in  the present day solar panel manufacturing.

Tom Murphy
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Thin is Good. Cheap is Better.
Tom Murphy   7/10/2013 11:25:50 AM
NO RATINGS
Without doing a lot of research, does anyone know the propsective costs of this technology vs othe solar cell materials? Or is it still just too early to even speculate on that? 

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Manufacturing costs?
R_Colin_Johnson   7/10/2013 11:25:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes you are right that organic solar cells are already being developed for deposition on thin, ultra-cheap substrates like paper. These researchers claim that their materials are better than organic in terms of longevity, since they do not deteriorate in the presense of UV, moisture and oxygen. Also this work is aimed at testing the limits of "limbo" science--how low (thin) can you go! 

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Thin is Good. Cheap is Better.
R_Colin_Johnson   7/10/2013 11:22:15 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, the whole world is on the side of "cheaper is better than thinner," but there are applications--like spacecraft--where thinner/lighter is worth the extra money. And as is often the case, aerospace technologies get cheaper as they become more popular, so thinner might just meet cheaper down the road :)

Sanjib.A
User Rank
CEO
Re: Manufacturing costs?
Sanjib.A   7/10/2013 11:21:38 AM
NO RATINGS

Curious to know, is it a different technology than the one researched by MIT: depositing organic photovoltaic material on flexible substrate (like paper) by "chemical vapor deposition"? (Link below)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_solar_cell_research

Looks different, but I was thinking that the idea of printing solar cell on paper as it is mentioned in the link above was good except the low efficiency number of 1%. In this case also, the efficiency number 1-2% is not very encouraging...isn't it?  

jeremybirch
User Rank
CEO
Re: Thin is Good. Cheap is Better.
jeremybirch   7/10/2013 8:02:35 AM
NO RATINGS
There are other ways to get thin without lower efficiency eg using proton implant shearing techniques rather than diamond saws. If the efficiency is much lower than 20% then the market won't be there in many cases - the limiting factor is how much area you have for deployment (eg you roof at home). In addition other elements of the system scale with area and hence the cost goes up - if this is only a few atoms thick it will need to be bonded to some thicker substrate to give it strength so that it can last through installation and long term use in the elements!

 

Tom Murphy
User Rank
Blogger
Thin is Good. Cheap is Better.
Tom Murphy   7/9/2013 9:56:34 PM
NO RATINGS
Which would do more for society, an expensive thin solar cell or a fat cheap one? I understand that one drives the other, but right now I'd rather seem the emphasis on driving high-volume use of solar everywhere as very, very low prices. 

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Solar Cells
R_Colin_Johnson   7/9/2013 5:08:18 PM
NO RATINGS
You are right. The researhers also point out that because their material does not need to be protected from UV, moisture and oxygen that the installations will also use less material for off-sets, covering and such.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>


Flash Poll
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

Future Engineers: Don’t 'Trip Up' on Your College Road Trip
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
7 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

Max Maxfield

Juggling a Cornucopia of Projects
Max Maxfield
21 comments
I feel like I'm juggling a lot of hobby projects at the moment. The problem is that I can't juggle. Actually, that's not strictly true -- I can juggle ten fine china dinner plates, but ...

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
41 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Karen Field

July Cartoon Caption Contest: Let's Talk Some Trash
Karen Field
151 comments
Steve Jobs allegedly got his start by dumpster diving with the Computer Club at Homestead High in the early 1970s.

Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)