UCLA announces solar technology advances

Researchers at UCLA have announced new technology that could significantly lower the cost of photovoltaic panels and other solar energy resources.

According to the university, advances in copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar cells are making the products more efficient than ever while offering the potential for mass production.

UCLA professors report in the space of about 16 months, they have brought the efficiency of the material in CIGS-based solar cells from about 1 percent to 9 percent. With an average efficiency increase of 1 percentage point every two months, the researchers are citing great potential for continued advances. Their goal is to eventually reach an efficiency level of between 15 and 20 percent.

The researchers reported that most CIGS solar cells are currently produced with costly techniques called co-evaportation. However, the newly developed technique involves simply dissolving the materials, applying it and then baking it onto a surface.

The development is important to the solar energy industry because as prices become more comparable with fossil fuels, the growth of solar and clean energy in general is expected to continue to gain momentum.
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Author: Tom Staples

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Posted in: Solar Energy

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