New technological developments make that possible. A kilowatt-hour of solar electricity can be generated increasingly cheaper and the industry is close to achieving grid parity. The cost of generating solar power would then be roughly equivalent to what end users currently have to pay for their household electricity. The BINE-Themeninfo brochure “Photovoltaics - Innovations” (II/2011) presents the latest research and development work on new solar cells concepts and production technologies.
Researchers are presenting solar cells with ever-higher efficiencies. New records are constantly being set, only to be broken again. As a result of both the growing costs pressures caused by the reduction in feed-in tariff and the continual research and development activities from science and industry, the production technology for photovoltaics has developed highly dynamically. Cheaper processes, thinner wafers and lighter modules are thronging onto the market. Several thin-film technologies are available as alternatives to the various types of silicon cells. New multiple band-gap cells utilise several spectral bands of sunlight and thus enable greater efficiencies. Innovative manufacturing processes are being developed in which solar cells are produced “off the roll” like in printing plants.
Developers and manufacturers are looking to optimise both the performance of solar cells as well as the production processes. It is becoming increasingly important to produce the entire modules as cheaply and durably as possible so that they can successfully compete internationally.
About FIZ KarlsruheFIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit organization with the public mission to make sci-tech information from all over the world publicly available and to provide related services in order to support the national and international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation.
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Rüdiger Mack | idw
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Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.
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Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.
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