Thursday, 8 March 2007

Sliver Solar Cells - Fantastic new world saving power generation technology

I was very excited to hear about this technology on the ABC program "Catalyst" last night. Especially because the cost of panels of this amazing new product will be a quarter of that of the current exhorbitant cost but have 30 times the power generation ability and they work even when there is cloud cover.
It will take 5 years to pay off the initial cost rather than 20.
They should be available within twelve months so we all need to start saving and get 'em up on our roofs!

The average Australian home consumes about 7,400 kWh of electricity each year and this would need about 64 panels (which would take up a lot of roof space).
With 30 times the power of current technology Sliver cells can achieve the same power generation using a much smaller roof area making feasible all the power generation requirements of your home with batteries used to store the electricity generated for sun free periods.

Imagine the contribution to reducing global warming this could make if only 10% of Australian households implemented this technology?

Here are some more statistics about Sliver Solar Cells:
  • Dramatically reduces expensive silicon use: Sliver technology uses 90% less of the expensive silicon than current conventional solar PV modules yet delivers commercially competitive cell and module efficiencies.
  • This means a solar power panel using Sliver cell technology needs the equivalent of 2 silicon wafers to convert sunlight to 140 watts of power. By comparison, a conventional solar panel uses around 60 silicon wafers to achieve similar performance.
  • Substantially thinner than most solar cells yet highly efficient: Micromachined using innovative manufacturing techniques to less than 70 microns thick (thinner than a human hair) from monocrystalline silicon, Sliver cells demonstrate efficiencies of 19.5%.

  • While Sliver cell efficiencies are competitive with other conventional solar cells, they perform much better than most other thin film technologies. Sliver cell trial modules tested by Sandia National Laboratories in the United States show efficiencies comparable with other solar power module products now on the market.
  • Radically different in size and shape: Sliver cells also differ radically from conventional solar cells in size and shape. They are long, ultra thin, quite flexible and perfectly bifacial. This is unlike conventional solar cells which are typically square or round, up to 4 to 5 times thicker, quite rigid and usually single sided.

This means there are new and exciting application possibilities as these unique and versatile properties open up opportunities to use the sun to power a wide range of potential new applications including:

  • Transparent cell panes in buildings
  • Flexible and roll up solar panels
  • Small and very high voltage solar panels for consumer electronics, and
  • Remote surveillance systems.
Much of the information in this post came from:

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