Printable solar cell technology manufactured from cheap, non-toxic materials
January 17, 2011 // Julien Happich
Oxford Photovoltaics, a company recently spun out from the University of Oxford by Isis Innovation Ltd., has developed a new solar cell technology that is manufactured from cheap, abundant, non-toxic and non-corrosive materials and can be scaled to any volume. Harnessing the sun’s energy, the solar cells are printed onto glass or other surfaces, are available in a range of colours and could be ideal for new buildings where solar cells are incorporated into glazing panels and walls.
Isis Innovation is Oxford’s technology transfer company, responsible for creating new technology companies based upon Oxford research. By combining earlier research on artificial photosynthetic electrochemical solar cells and semiconducting plastics Oxford PV can now create manufacturable solid-state dye sensitized solar cells. The device is a form of thin film solar technology, a relatively new development in solar energy generation.
Leading thin film technologies are currently hampered by the scarcity of minerals used. Other dye-sensitized solar cells are being held back by the volatile nature of liquid electrolytes. Oxford PV’s technology replaces the liquid electrolyte with a solid organic semiconductor, enabling entire solar modules to be screen printed onto glass or other surfaces.
Green is the most efficient "semi-transparent" colour for producing electricity, although red and purple also work well. The materials used are plentiful, environmentally benign and very low cost.
Oxford PV predicts that manufacturing costs of its product will be around 50% less than the current lowest-cost thin film technology and expects its new mechanism will eventually match the unsubsidised cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels. The technology could revolutionise the incorporation of photovoltaic materials into windows and walls and other parts of buildings.
CEO Kevin Arthur said: ‘This technology is a breakthrough in this area. We’re working closely with major companies in the sector to demonstrate that we can achieve their expectations on economic and product lifetime criteria.’
The technology was developed by Dr Henry Snaith, of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, who said, 'One of the great advantages is that we can process it over large areas very easily. You don’t have to worry about extensive sealing and encapsulation, which is an issue for the electrolyte dye cell.'
Visit Oxford Photovoltaics at www.oxfordpv.comAll news
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
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