HVAC Breaking News

April 4, 2008: Thin-Film Solar Cell Achieves Record Efficiency

April 4, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

GOLDEN, Colo. - The prospect for lower-cost alternatives to crystalline silicon solar cells brightened considerably when the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that it has created a thin-film solar cell with a record efficiency.

NREL created the solar cell from thin films of semiconducting materials made from alloys of cadmium, indium, copper, and selenium, or CIGS. The cell achieved a record thin-film conversion efficiency of 19.9 percent, that is, the cell is able to convert 19.9 percent of the sunlight hitting it into electricity. Although solar cells have been built with much higher efficiencies using expensive processes and multiple layers of semiconductors, the more common crystalline silicon solar cells have achieved at most efficiencies of 20.3 percent, which is quite close to the NREL achievement with the thin-film CIGS solar cell.

CIGS solar cells use extremely thin layers of semiconductor material applied to a low-cost backing such as glass, flexible metallic foils, high-temperature polymers, or stainless steel sheets. Thin-film cells require less energy to make and can be fabricated by a variety of processes. Because of this, they provide a promising path for providing more affordable solar cells for residential and other uses.

Publication date: 03/31/2008

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The NEWS, hosted the 2014 ACCA CEO Forum. At the event, six well-known, highly respected company executives, Gary Michel, Ingersoll Rand/Trane; Chris Nelson, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls; Brent Schroeder, Emerson Climate Technologies; and Doug Young, Lennox; provided individual industry outlooks and fielded questions directly from attending contractors. Listen to the entire event on the NEWSMakers podcast. Posted on April 14.

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con