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Researchers Produce Transparent Solar Cell
Hardocp ^ | Sunday July 22, 2012

Posted on 07/22/2012 1:13:44 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

An improvement in the makeup of solar cells generates electricity while maintaining a 70% transparency, making it adaptable to homes and businesses to reduce energy costs. The polymer solar cell is light, flexible and cheap to produce. If this goes into mass production, it could spell the end of unsightly bulky roof mounted solar panels.

"These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications"

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TOPICS: Business/Economy; Science
KEYWORDS: energy; hitech; solar; solarcells; solarenergy

1 posted on 07/22/2012 1:13:53 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: All
Well....it's out of a California locale:

UCLA researchers create highly transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity

UCLA Newsroom

UCLA researchers create highly transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity

UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano.
 
The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. They made the device from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.
 
"These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications," said study leader Yang Yang, a UCLA professor of materials science and engineering, who also is director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).
 
Yang, who is also the holder of the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr., Endowed Chair in Engineering, added that there has been intense world-wide interest in so-called polymer solar cells. "Our new PSCs are made from plastic-like materials and are lightweight and flexible," he said. "More importantly, they can be produced in high volume at low cost."
 
Polymer solar cells have attracted great attention due to their advantages over competing solar cell technologies. Scientists have also been intensely investigating PSCs for their potential in making unique advances for broader applications. Several such applications would be enabled by high-performance visibly transparent photovoltaic (PV) devices, including building-integrated photovoltaics and integrated PV chargers for portable electronics.
 
Previously, many attempts have been made toward demonstrating visibly transparent or semitransparent PSCs. However, these demonstrations often result in low visible light transparency and/or low device efficiency because suitable polymeric PV materials and efficient transparent conductors were not well deployed in device design and fabrication.
 
A team of UCLA researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have demonstrated high-performance, solution-processed, visibly transparent polymer solar cells through the incorporation of near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and using silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode. The near-infrared photoactive polymer absorbs more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, balancing solar cell performance and transparency in the visible wavelength region.
 
Another breakthrough is the transparent conductor made of a mixture of silver nanowire and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which was able to replace the opaque metal electrode used in the past. This composite electrode also allows the solar cells to be fabricated economically by solution processing. With this combination, 4% power-conversion efficiency for solution-processed and visibly transparent polymer solar cells has been achieved.
 
"We are excited by this new invention on transparent solar cells, which applied our recent advances in transparent conducting windows (also published in ACS Nano) to fabricate these devices," said Paul S.Weiss, CNSI director and Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences.
 
Study authors also include Weiss; materials science and engineering postdoctoral researcher Rui Zhu; Ph.D. candidates Chun-Chao Chen, Letian Dou, Choong-Heui Chung, Tze-Bin Song and Steve Hawks; Gang Li, who is former vice president of engineering for Solarmer Energy, Inc., a startup from UCLA; and CNSI postdoctoral researcher Yue Bing Zheng.
 
The study was supported by the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Office of Naval Research, and The Kavli Foundation.
 
The California NanoSystems Institute is an integrated research facility located at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Its mission is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in nanoscience and nanotechnology; to train a new generation of scientists, educators and technology leaders; to generate partnerships with industry; and to contribute to the economic development and the social well-being of California, the United States and the world. The CNSI was established in 2000 with $100 million from the state of California. The total amount of research funding in nanoscience and nanotechnology awarded to CNSI members has risen to over $900 million. UCLA CNSI members are drawn from UCLA's College of Letters and Science, the David Geffen School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, the School of Public Health and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. They are engaged in measuring, modifying and manipulating atoms and molecules — the building blocks of our world. Their work is carried out in an integrated laboratory environment. This dynamic research setting has enhanced understanding of phenomena at the nanoscale and promises to produce important discoveries in health, energy, the environment and information technology.
 
For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.
 

2 posted on 07/22/2012 1:19:12 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks for posting the article.

I found that the link to the ‘cell’ provided much more info, so I thought (if you don’t mind), I would provide it directly.

UCLA researchers create highly transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-researchers-create-highly-236698.aspx


3 posted on 07/22/2012 1:20:20 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Nevermind.


4 posted on 07/22/2012 1:23:35 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. They made the device from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.

So... they could make sunglasses out of them, which could power your personal devices.


5 posted on 07/22/2012 1:24:54 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
From the UCLA article: ""More importantly, they can be produced in high volume at low cost."

Sounds like a potential winner. Perhaps a way some US based manufactures can provide jobs to US citizens residing in America.
6 posted on 07/22/2012 1:27:43 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
We need to put the brakes on on this solar and wind energy nonsense as it is beginning to have a real impact on the natural gas industry by devastating prices and will put hard working oilfield folks out of work and hurt our oil companies.


7 posted on 07/22/2012 1:28:47 PM PDT by Uncle Slayton
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

It’s ALL in the numbers. If these cells have lousy efficiency and only a few hours a day of sunlight, they still may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they’re not going to do too well in the REAL WORLD.


8 posted on 07/22/2012 1:30:03 PM PDT by BobL
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; All

Looks like a lot less work/$$$ to install! - and longer 'shelf-life?"

9 posted on 07/22/2012 1:40:04 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: Uncle Slayton
We also need to put a stop to the dang automobile. You have any idea how many buggy makers, saddle makers, and livery stables have gone out of business? /s

/johnny

10 posted on 07/22/2012 1:40:26 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

increasing efficiency would be more valuable than increasing transparency


11 posted on 07/22/2012 1:42:05 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Marine_Uncle

I remember about some guy inventing a car that ran on water, but I haven’t seen one sold yet.

I will believe this when I see it.

Meantime I am sure Obama will send them a research check


12 posted on 07/22/2012 1:43:37 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: maine-iac7
slaps of plastic,...pour them ,...cure....cut...ship them out.

Could make a difference.

13 posted on 07/22/2012 1:48:41 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: bigbob

This is nothing new to me. I have known about them for a couple of years now. The problems I saw from the research I did at the time that they were not very efficient. It took about three times the surface area to produce the same amount of power as typical panels. But like most things I learned about solar power, it is not the silver bullet for energy but an alternative for particular remote applications where running a power cord was not feasible.


14 posted on 07/22/2012 1:49:36 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: UCANSEE2
That could be big.

Bigger glasses....more devices...

LOL!

15 posted on 07/22/2012 1:50:34 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?)
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To: Uncle Slayton
I have no problem with developing alternate energy as long as the market place rules and they are not forced on us by government mandate.
16 posted on 07/22/2012 2:13:38 PM PDT by riverrunner
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To: BobL

you can combine this sort of device with the spray on batteries just announced and there you go!


17 posted on 07/22/2012 2:13:57 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

just like obama’s college records, they are transparent (meaning we can’t see them).


18 posted on 07/22/2012 2:16:21 PM PDT by isom35
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To: mazda77; bigbob; Ernest_at_the_Beach

When it comes to efficiency (4%) they’re pretty low on the totem pole. The latest solar panels can yield 17%. The price would have to be substantially lower for it to compete.

http://sroeco.com/solar/most-efficient-solar-panels

The problem with solar is that the installation cost is so high. Even if the solar panels were free, all the remaining electrical equipment, installation hardware and labor would still make it more expensive than conventional.

To cut down on these type of costs they have to design them into the house and build the house with them. Also, an additional $20K to a house that costs a couple of hundred thousands isn’t that much and you can get it financed over thirty years and you’ll have free electricity.

I don’t understand why more builders aren’t doing this.


19 posted on 07/22/2012 2:16:45 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48
I don’t understand why more builders aren’t doing this.

Battery storage, capacity and life cycle. The cost is still prohibitive plus the proper ventilated storage design within the house along with a climate controlled environment to keep them operating efficiently.

20 posted on 07/22/2012 2:28:13 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: UCANSEE2

The could also possibly replace your cellphone screen with this and recharge your phone as you’re using it.


21 posted on 07/22/2012 2:35:56 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Venturer
RE: "Meantime I am sure Obama will send them a research check"
I'm sure your suspicions are quite warranted. The goon has been so sold for so many years by so many greenies of all stripes he most probably thinks he and his gang of clowns in the White House are actually doing the right thing.
22 posted on 07/22/2012 2:41:28 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: aquila48

If I were building a house, I’d certainly consider a solar installation right from the start.


23 posted on 07/22/2012 2:44:10 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
so you can stack them??? that'd be a huge space saver...
24 posted on 07/22/2012 2:53:35 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: UCANSEE2
Are these cells UV resistant.

The problem with PVs are they never reach
power out/power in due to UV degradation.


25 posted on 07/22/2012 2:56:21 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: mazda77

“Battery storage, capacity and life cycle.”

You can still hook up to the utility as a backup.


26 posted on 07/22/2012 2:58:04 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48

Not directly. Solar cells produce DC voltage. You need an inverter and to provide a stable consistent current to the inverter it must be stored in addition to a charge controller so the batteries are not overcharged causing them to go bad. Batteries are always needed if you hope to provide any kind of power during darkness and less than optimal sun direction.


27 posted on 07/22/2012 3:17:52 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: mazda77

Yes I understand you need a converter to hook up with the grid, but I don’t think you need batteries unless you want to go strictly solar.

When they do a solar installation in a home with on the grid there are no batteries involved.


28 posted on 07/22/2012 5:05:17 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48

“When they do a solar installation in a home with on the grid there are no batteries involved.”

Right, and you can sell power back to the utilities at high daytime rates if you’re out of the house and set the AC high enough...

These might make a nice option for south-facing windows, to boost solar output a bit from square footage that otherwise would produce nothing. It’s also possible they could get efficiency over 4% down the road.


29 posted on 07/22/2012 7:40:39 PM PDT by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!!!)
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