Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Impovements in solar power

The problem with solar panels is that they cost too much and produce too little electricity per square meter. An example of this problem can be seen with major high street stores selling panels for £10,000 that will save £200/year. Most consumers don't want to spend on a micro-generation system that will pay for itself in 50 years (if it lasts that long). To be commercially viable pv solar panels need to undergo a dramatic reduction in cost, a dramatic increase in efficiency or both.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created solar panels that generate from a greater range of the EM spectrum. By doping a zinc-manganese-tellurium alloy with oxygen atoms they have produced a solar panel that responds to lower energy photons. This panel has an estimated efficiency 45%. Find out more here.

No comments: