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IBM sets new efficiency mark for abundant material solar cell

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August 21, 2012 – Comments (2)

Excellent development!

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IBM sets new efficiency mark for abundant material solar cell
August 21, 2012 by Bob Yirka

http://phys.org/news/2012-08-ibm-efficiency-abundant-material-solar.html

IBM sets new efficiency mark for abundant material solar cell August 21, 2012 by Bob Yirka report IBM sets new efficiency mark for abundant material solar cell Enlarge IBM increases world record to 11.1 percent for a high-efficiency solar cell made from earth-abundant materials. IBM Researcher Teodor Todorov (pictured) tests a solar cell made of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (readily available copper, zinc, and tin, and referred to as CZTS) in a solar simulator equal to the power of one sun. This breakthrough holds potential for solar cell technology to produce more energy at a lower cost and with less barriers to scale.

(Phys.org) -- IBM’s Material Sciences team has reached a new level of efficiency for a thin film solar cell made from the easily accessible materials copper, zinc, tin, and selenium, known as CZTS. The team, in a report by photovoltaic researchers David Mitzi and Teodor Todorov, say they have bested the previous record by ten percent, bumping it to 11.1%.

Several teams across the globe are hard at work trying to create thin film solar cells from materials that are easier to obtain than those found in the more traditional CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) thin film material. Gallium and selenium in particular are becoming more difficult to get because of restrictions by the Chinese government (China is the major producer for both) on exports.

Work on thin film solar cells became popular as the cost of silicon based solar cells rose over the past decade, now despite a downward cost trend, research on thin film cells has continued because of other high cost procedures required to make silicon based solar cells. Up till now however, most of that research has centered on CIGS, which typically has an efficiency rate of twelve percent in solar panels. The IBM research team is hoping to make CZTS even more efficient, perhaps reaching fifteen percent, which would of course make it a viable alternative to CIGS, though they don’t expect to reach that goal for at least another couple of years.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-ibm-efficiency-abundant-material-solar.html#jCp

2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM, chk999 (99.98) wrote:

This is good because copper, zinc and tin are all readily available and readily recycled.

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#2) On August 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

yep, exactly.

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