06 Oct 2008 05:10:35
Transparent flexible solar cells discovered
See-through solar cells which can be used as windows on cars or buildings even as they generate electricity have been devised by researchers in the US.
Traditionally, lightweight solar cell technology resulted in less efficient conversion of the sun's energy into electricity.
However, scientist John Rogers of the University of Illinois led a study which developed a technique for creating super thin cells which did not compromise on efficiency.
The technique, which involves slicing silicon very thinly and then transferring it onto plastic, with the resulting cells one tenth the thickness of existing models, also results in flexible solar panels
"You can make (the solar cells) in the form of a grey film that could be added to architectural glass," said professor Rogers.
"It opens up spaces on the fronts of buildings as opportunities for solar energy."
The most efficient photovoltaic cell to date was recently discovered, which converted 40.8 per cent of solar radiation into electricity.http://rogers.mse.uiuc.edu/files/2008/microsolarnmat.pdf