What Is Solar Cell (7)

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By now, dear readers/friends, you are probably wondering how much of the world’s energy usage is based on solar energy. Despite the fact that it is by far the most “clean, safe, abundant, and least likely to contribute to war among nations” form of energy, it is only taking up about 0.5%

World Energy Usage Chart (Note:Solar heat of 0.5%, Wikimedia Commons)

of the world’s energy usage. The reason is cost!  That is why scientists and engineers throughout planet earth are making their greatest effort in figuring out /experimenting with material and ways of applying technology to reduce the cost of solar energy/technology.  Thin film technology reduces the amount of material required to create a solar cell, but it also reduces the energy conversion efficiency.  Nevertheless, thin film silicon cells have become popular due to cost, flexibility, lighter weight, and ease of integration, compared to wafer silicon cells.  In this next and final clip on the series of “What Is Solar Cell”,  you will see CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide. some also call it CIGSS or (di)selenide, but most literatures refer to it as CIGS), a direct-bandgap material, with the highest efficiency (~20%) among thin film materials.

You will find this clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMnx5tFrDDc&feature=related or simply click below:

 

It is encouraging that solar industry had been growing exponentially in recent years and its cost had been driven down tremendously.  In addition to decreasing the cost, increasing the efficiency of the material, and increasing its applications ( building integrated photovoltaics such as roof, window glass, or paint, using thin film solar material will drive down the cost of solar electricity further and eventually be able to get 20% of the energy from solar (forecasted by some scientists and engineers)) , there had been great amount of discussions in various types of incentive programs that may be implemented in the effort of driving down its cost and increasing its economic feasibility.  In the final analysis, in order to increase the percentage of global energy use from solar energy, it is up to all of us earthlings to make every effort in bringing down the cost of solar technology, whether through scientific technological research and development or through incentive programs.  I will reserve the topic on various incentive programs in future posts. Until then, I bid you a clear and sunny day tomorrow~

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org

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