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Friday, April 23, 2010

Nanotechnology can improve efficiency of solar cells

Nanotechnology has shown the possibility of fulfilling everyone’s dream of getting cheap and clean energy through its strategic applications. Its intersection with energy is going to change the way energy was hitherto being generated, stored, transmitted, distributed and managed. Nanotechnology is particularly going to revolutionize the solar energy sector.

Using nano-particles in the manufacture of solar cells has the following benefits:

- Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of using a low temperature process.
- Reduced installation costs achieved by producing flexible rolls instead of rigid crystalline panels.
- Solar cells improves power performance by 60 percent in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum.
Inexpensive solar cells would also help provide electricity for rural areas or third world countries. Since the electricity demand in these areas is not high, and the areas are so distantly spaced out, it is not practical to connect them to an electrical grid. However, this is an ideal situation for solar energy.
Finally, inexpensive solar cells could also revolutionize the electronics industry. Solar cells could be embedded into clothing and be ‘programmed’ to work for both indoor light and sunlight.
Consequently, even though conventional solar cells are expensive and cannot yet achieve high efficiency, it may be possible to lower the manufacturing costs using nanotechnology.

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