Solar plastic breakthrough  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Grist has an article on the progress of plastic solar cells - Fantastic solar plastic breakthrough.

One of the holy grails of solar power has been to create very thin plastic solar cells that could be attached to just about anything to generate electricity -- windows, awnings, bus shelters.

You can find very low-powered flexible panels embedded in backpacks and small solar chargers, but the challenge has been to increase the efficiency of such photovoltaic cells. Now a company that has spent years developing an organic solar technology, Konarka of Lowell, Mass., says its "Power Plastic" has set a new record, achieving a 8.3 percent efficiency rate in converting sunlight into electricity. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory certified the efficiency rating.

"This unsurpassed NREL certification opens new doors for the commercial production of cost-effective, efficient electricity for numerous large scale applications," Howard Berke, Konarka's chief executive, said in a statement.

Now, 8.3 percent is less than half the efficiency of a conventional crystalline silicon photovoltaic panel like those found on residential rooftops. But it's a notable achievement for a solar cell that uses organic molecules to generate electricity. The great promise of organic molecules is that they can be produced at far less cost than standard silicon solar panels, but the low efficiency of organic photovoltaics has limited their use. ...

A couple of years ago, a Konarka executive showed me just how portable and easily installed photovoltaic plastic can be. He pulled a roll of solar modules out of a briefcase and unfurled them on a table. Within a few minutes they were powering a lamp.

If you happen to be in San Francisco, you can spot Power Plastic modules at bus stops. The modules are embedded in the wave-shaped red roofs of the bus shelter and power its lights, as well as Wifi routers for web-surfing passengers.

The city plans to solarize 300 bus stops, which would generate 43,000 kilowatt-hours a year.

Now that's fantastic plastic.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (607) global warming (396) solar power (379) peak oil (343) renewable energy (258) electric vehicles (222) wind power (185) ocean energy (163) csp (157) geothermal energy (144) solar thermal power (144) smart grids (139) tidal power (137) coal seam gas (130) oil (130) solar pv (127) energy storage (126) nuclear power (126) lng (116) china (113) geothermal power (112) iraq (112) green buildings (109) natural gas (108) agriculture (88) oil price (79) biofuel (78) smart meters (72) wave power (71) uk (68) electricity grid (67) coal (63) energy efficiency (63) google (57) bicycle (51) internet (51) shale gas (49) surveillance (49) food prices (48) big brother (47) thin film solar (42) canada (40) biomimicry (39) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) tesla (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) concentrating solar power (32) queensland (32) saudi arabia (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) arctic ice (29) population (29) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) limits to growth (22) coal to liquids (20) distributed manufacturing (20) indonesia (20) iraq oil law (20) lithium (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) buckminster fuller (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) exxon (18) santos (18) ausra (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) electric bikes (16) iceland (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) psychology (15) brazil (14) fertiliser (14) lithium ion batteries (14) al gore (13) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) bucky fuller (13) carbon emissions (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) matthew simmons (13) public transport (13) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) tinfoil (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) antarctica (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) big oil (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) bolivia (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) scenario planning (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)