Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR DAILY
New milestone in printed photovoltaic technology
by Staff Writers
Nuremberg, Germany (SPX) Jul 13, 2016


File image.

Organic solar cells are considered a competitive alternative to the standard silicon cells that are used in photovoltaics. They are incredibly thin, flexible and translucent, and can be integrated into window glass or used by architects as design elements in large lighting installations.

In contrast to the silicon cells that are often installed in photovoltaic systems on the roofs of buildings, organic solar cells are made of special semiconductor-based polymers called fullerenes - minute carbon molecules that look like footballs. Using fullerenes makes the cells highly efficient but also less durable, meaning that they are unable to match the standard technology over longer periods than 30 years, for example.

'The environmental stability of these kinds of solar cells is not yet sufficient,' says Prof. Dr. Christoph Brabec, renowned photovoltaics researcher and materials scientist and Chair of Materials for Electronics and Energy Technology.

However, that is about to change. Together with colleagues from Imperial College London and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), FAU researchers led by Professor Brabec and materials scientist Nicola Gasparini, a doctoral candidate at FAU, have now managed to find an alternative to fullerenes. 'We have identified a new organic molecule that is not based on fullerenes.

Compared with other acceptors - which are an essential element in photovoltaics - it is in a class of its own in terms of functionality,' Christoph Brabec explains. While fullerenes only absorb a very small amount of light, the new molecule is able to convert a very large amount.

The more sunlight absorbed, the higher the efficiency. 'This is a major breakthrough for the international research community which has been looking for new cell technologies that can replace fullerene, reducing the cost of producing solar energy.'

According to Professor Brabec, this is what will make producing energy using photovoltaics a competitive alternative to fossil fuels. When determining the cost of producing energy, all of the costs that are required to convert the energy from the source (in this case the sun) into electricity are taken into account.

In their study the researchers demonstrated the record stability and efficiency of their newly developed polymer. 'We measured a significantly higher air-stability, even at temperatures of up to 140 degrees,' Professor Brabec explains. 'And we expect to be able to produce stable solar cells with an efficiency of over ten percent using these materials.'

Another significant benefit is that the process used to print the new organic materials is less expensive. Instead of using expensive semiconductor technologies, the photovoltaic elements consisting of thin polymer substrates are produced on a production line where they are printed and coated. In addition, the solar films can be made in different colours.

This will allow architects greater freedom when choosing colour combinations for their design and enable car manufacturers to install the special organic solar cells in glass roofs in their vehicles, for example. The new technology also opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the chemical industry to improve existing applications and develop new ones.

In light of all this, it is clear that the FAU researchers have succeeded in taking a major step forward in solar energy research. 'The new findings highlight the excellent work and high standards of FAU researchers who work together in interdisciplinary teams,' Christoph Brabec says. 'This considerable milestone in the development of next-generation photovoltaic technologies is a testament to their superb research skills.'

The new solar modules were developed in close collaboration with Dr. Derya Baran from Imperial College London, who spent time researching at FAU after she completed her doctoral degree. The researchers also collaborated with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and Stanford University, USA.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
SOLAR DAILY
Discovery could dramatically boost efficiency of perovskite solar cells
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jul 07, 2016
Scientists from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a possible secret to dramatically boosting the efficiency of perovskite solar cells hidden in the nanoscale peaks and valleys of the crystalline material. Solar cells made from compounds that have the crystal structure of the mineral perovskite have captured scientists' imaginati ... read more


SOLAR DAILY
One reaction, two results, zero waste

Neural networks to obtain synthetic petroleum

From climate killer to fuels and polymers

Study shows trees with altered lignin are better for biofuels

SOLAR DAILY
Scientists unveil light-powered molecular motors

Google buys French startup that helps machines see

Chinese firm Midea gets over 50% of Germany's Kuka

The debut of a robotic stingray, powered by light-activated rat cells

SOLAR DAILY
Scotland commits $26M for low-carbon economy

More wind power added to French grid

How China can ramp up wind power

Scotland investing more in offshore wind

SOLAR DAILY
China auto sales speed up 14.6% in June: industry group

German parliament to investigate government's role in 'Dieselgate' scandal

Tesla readies updated 'secret masterplan'

Tesla fatal crash is setback to autonomous cars

SOLAR DAILY
New ferromagnetic superconductors

Bangladesh coal plant threatens World Heritage mangrove: petition

3-D paper-based microbial fuel cell operating under continuous flow condition

Building a better battery

SOLAR DAILY
Russian floating nuclear power station undergoes mooring tests

Russia's REMIX Innovative Nuclear Fuel Enters First Field Trials

Reactor fuels Russia bid for post-Fukushima atomic lead

Germany may wait 100 years for nuclear waste storage site

SOLAR DAILY
Sweden's 100 percent carbon-free emissions challenge

Norway MPs vote to go carbon neutral by 2030

Algorithm could help detect and reduce power grid faults

It pays to increase energy consumption

SOLAR DAILY
Understanding forest fire history can help keep forests healthy

Watching a forest breathe

NASA Maps California Drought Effects on Sierra Trees

Where do rubber trees get their rubber




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement