Business

Inequality built into the grid

It is known that future uptake of distributed energy resources like wind and solar could be limited due to constraints in electrical grids. Now, a study from Berkeley researchers shows that grid limitations in California ...

Engineering

Getting smart about off-grid desalination

Small changes in membrane design can have a large impact on the performance of a new technology developed at KAUST that uses waste heat from solar cells for seawater desalination.

Energy & Green Tech

Printing perovskite solar cells

To reach the target of carbon neutral, a transition from fossil energy to renewable energy generation is indispensable. Photovoltaic technology is considered as one of the most prominent sources of renewable energy. For decades, ...

Energy & Green Tech

Researchers reveal defect properties in photovoltaic material

As a new member of photovoltaic family, antimony trisulfide (Sb2S3) has the satisfactory bandgap of 1.7eV, benefiting the fabrication of the top absorber layer of tandem solar cells. Due to a special quasi-one-dimensional ...

Energy & Green Tech

Molecular coating enhances organic solar cells

An electrode coating just one molecule thick can significantly enhance the performance of an organic photovoltaic cell, KAUST researchers have found. The coating outperforms the leading material currently used for this task ...

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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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