Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Making solar panels with cleaner, greener technology

24.02.2011
Mention solar energy, and most people think "squeaky clean, pollution-free."

The reality of making solar panels with existing technology, however, is much different, involving use of potentially toxic substances and lots of energy. That could change, according to an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

In the article, C&EN Associate Editor Sarah Everts describes the beginning of a scientific effort to manufacture solar panels in a way that better fits the public perception. Current silicon-based solar panels, which represent about 80 percent of the global market, are energy-intensive and rely on materials that pose potential health and environmental risks. To be "green," manufacturers must adopt more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and plan for the safe end-of-service-life disposal of the panels, the article notes.

Solar panel manufacturers are already starting to make changes. Some are setting up programs that will collect and recycle panels after their 20-25 year lifespan. Many solar companies are trying to reduce the amount of energy required to produce the panels, while others are trying to change the production process in order to replace toxic materials with more eco-friendly ones. At the same time, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of developing more efficient solar cells, which could require the use of more energy-intensive processes and more materials. "Resolving these challenges — perhaps with new manufacturing processes altogether — will ensure that photovoltaics [solar panels] don't just produce renewable energy but are themselves renewably produced," the article states.

ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Making Solar Panels Greener"

This story is available at http://pubs.acs.org

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies

nachricht Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>