Electronics & Semiconductors

Promising strategies for durable perovskite solar cells

Perovskite materials are becoming increasingly popular as the active layer in solar cells. Internal forces in these materials cause distortions in their crystal structures, reducing symmetry and contributing to their intrinsic ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Researchers develop eco-friendly color thin-film solar cells

Research on solar cells to secure renewable energy sources are ongoing around the world. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in South Korea succeeded in developing eco-friendly color Cu(In,Ga)Se2 ...

Energy & Green Tech

COVID-19 shutdown led to increased solar power output

As the COVID-19 shutdowns and stay-at-home orders brought much of the world's travel and commerce to a standstill, people around the world started noticing clearer skies as a result of lower levels of air pollution. Now, ...

Energy & Green Tech

Newer solar power equipment ages better than older units

Utility-scale photovoltaics, ground-mounted projects larger than 5 megawatts of alternating current, are the largest sector of the overall solar market within the U.S. and the fastest-growing form of renewable power generation.

Energy & Green Tech

Moisture-sucking gels give solar panels the chills

A cooling system developed at KAUST has improved the efficiency of a prototype solar panel up to 20 percent and requires no external energy source to operate.

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Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material. Materials presently used for photovoltaics include monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide. Due to the growing demand for renewable energy sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has advanced considerably in recent years.

Solar photovoltaics is growing rapidly, albeit from a small base, to a total global capacity of 40,000 MW at the end of 2010. More than 100 countries use solar PV. Some 24 GW of solar is projected in November 2011 to be installed in that year, pushing up worldwide capacity to roughly 64 GW. Installations may be ground-mounted (and sometimes integrated with farming and grazing) or built into the roof or walls of a building (building-integrated photovoltaics).

Driven by advances in technology and increases in manufacturing scale and sophistication, the cost of photovoltaics has declined steadily since the first solar cells were manufactured. Net metering and financial incentives, such as preferential feed-in tariffs for solar-generated electricity, have supported solar PV installations in many countries.

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