Electronics & Semiconductors

Renewable energy, new perspectives for photovoltaic cells

In the future, photovoltaic cells could be 'worn' over clothes, placed on cars or even on beach umbrellas. These are just some of the possible developments from a study published in Nature Communications by researchers at ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar technology with the beauty of butterfly wings

Photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are not always considered aesthetically enhancing to a building. The colored modules, however, being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE are refreshingly ...

Engineering

New testing system could become the IoT of photovoltaics

A new system for measuring solar performance over the long term in scalable photovoltaic systems, developed by Arizona State University researchers, represents a breakthrough in the cost and longevity of interconnected power ...

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 ...

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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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