Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

8 August

Dr. Christopher Case (of Oxford PV) Discusses Game-Changing Future Transformer of Solar Power Generation-Perovskite Based Solar Cell Technology

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I  saved the most potential game-changing solar technology in the last interview spot, the update of Perovskite-based solar cell technology with the Chief Technology Officer of Oxford PV, Dr. Christopher Case, of this series of Intersolar North America 2015 interviews. Recalling one of our earlier posts, I wrote about Perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839. This new old material is generating quite an explosive buzz because scientists have found, in recent years, that it is a great material to be used in solar absorption applications. It can be made simply and inexpensively by using common wet chemistry lab methods and low cost equipments instead of the expensive deposition equipments common in the semiconductor industry. To take a look at how this process is made cheap and accessible, I’m sharing the video below:


These solar (photovoltaic) cells are made in tandem (layer by layer) fashion on a specially coated glass support. In the video above:

  1. the glass is coated with a dense layer of titanium dioxide, by robotic arm, to prevent electrical charge generated by sunlight from leaking out of the cell.
  2. a less dense porous oxide layer covers the dense oxide layer (usually titanium dioxide, other oxides may also be used).
  3. a simple high speed spin coater deposits this layer from solution and spreads this coating evenly across the device.
  4. heating this glass/device in an oven conditions it for solar cell use.
  5. prepare the Perovskite material (which absorbs in the broad range of solar spectrum) by combining 2 precursor materials:   PbI2 (lead iodide) & CH6IN (methylammonium iodide)
  6. drip the liquid phase mixture (from 5.) onto the oxide coated device (from 4.)
  7.  spin the resulting device in 6 to assure even coating
  8.  applying halide solution
  9.  heating the device resulting from 8 on a hot plate–>spontaneously crystallizes precursors in freshly deposited liquid
  10.  color changes also result from crystallization process resulting from 9.

Such tandem product has the advantage of being able to be introduced into existing infrastructure of current silicon module manufacturing process, boosting its efficiency. With added few steps toward the end of the production line, the coating (equivalent to second solar cell) takes advantage of the blue portion of the solar spectrum and may improve the solar cell efficiency by 20-25% above the underlying silicon. The fact that Perovskite-based solar cell technology is of earth abundant material also insures its availability and low cost. Its high absorption in solar spectrum enables it to have comparable characteristics to that of gallium arsenide. Its ability to change its sensitivity to different band gaps in solar spectrum allows it to make different architectures in tandem solar cells. It can truly be considered as the Custom Solar Absorber! In short term,  Perovskite-based solar cell may boost the efficiency level of existing technology and in the long term, it may be a stand-alone technology with closer efficiency level to that of gallium arsenide but at a much lower cost. It may potentially be sprayed, ink-jet printed, dip-coated, etc. It is no wonder that Dr. Case commented, “the perovskite in solar application is the fastest increasing photovoltaic efficiency of any solar photovoltaic thin film material ever! In just a few years, it went from a lab efficiency of about 6% to well over 17%…the material is a very good solar absorber….bringing the material to 25% efficiency in a monolithic layer and 30%+ in a perovskite tandem layer….potentially the future replacement for silicon.”

The perovskite thin-film solar cells, is currently being developed by Oxford PV (a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2009-2010 to commercialize this technology, which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property developed by Professor Henry Snaith and his team of 20 scientists). Below, Professor Henry Snaith will embellish upon the development of this solar technology:

Oxford PV plans on continuing to optimize this technology’s cell efficiency and accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. Furthermore, it aims to develop the range of substrates to which the cells can be applied. With its promising future, we, the solar enthusiasts and investors alike, should keep our eyes on Oxford PV in the coming years. In the next few years, we anticipate that Dr. Henry Snaith and his team of scientists will continue to tackle challenges in trap densities, doping densities, mobility, mechanisms for free carrier generations, etc., to further improve device performance. You will find that many in the solar industry share the optimism of Professor Henry Snaith and Dr. Christopher Case.

For those of you interested in more details about Perovskite-based solar cell technology, please refer to the two videos below:

1. Introducing Perovskite Solar Cells to Undergraduates:


2. Perovskite Solar Cells: From Device Fabrication to Device Degradation-Timothy Kelly:

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, edited, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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22 July

Dr. Henry Snaith Believes That We May Have Entirely Clean Energy In Five Years

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Before our interview with Dr. Christopher Case, I confess I’ve only come across one article mentioning perovskite. I had no idea that it is a calcium titanium oxide mineral species

A Perovskite mineral (Calcium titanate) from Kusa, Russia. Taken at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (credit: wikipedia)

Perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral species composed of calcium titanate. The mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 (credit: wikipedia)

originally discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839, nor did I know that this perovskite structure has oxygen in its face centers.

Perovskite structure with a chemical formula ABX(3). The red spheres are X atoms (usually oxygens). The blue spheres are B-atoms (smaller metal cation such as Ti). The green spheres are the A-atoms (larger metal cation such as Ca).

But during my research for the interview, it’s become apparent that this solid state hybrid solar cells based on organometal trihalide perovskite absorbers will likely advance solar technology to the very highest efficiencies while retaining the very lowest cost.  In the next few years, the perovskite-based technology may emerge as a contender for the ultimately low-cost solar power. This may explain why the response from Dr. Henry Snaith, (researcher and developer of perovskite solar technology), to the question “Could we have entirely clean energy in five years?” is a resounding:”I absolutely believe we could.”

Let’s take a look at the reason why Dr. Snaith has such a strong belief in the future of solar/clean energy technology, video below:


In the next few years, we anticipate that Dr. Henry Snaith and his team of scientists will continue to tackle challenges in trap densities, doping densities, mobility, mechanisms for free carrier generations, etc., to further improve device performance. Many are expecting to see efficiency level of above 20% and use of perovskite as top cells in multijunction devices based on currently commercially available technology. It will be exciting to see the full potential of this emerging solar technology unveiling before our eyes. I hope you are also as hopeful and optimistic as Dr. Henry Snaith.

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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10 September

John Smart at World Future Society 2013 Conference

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Terrific! Obama Administration and Russia have combined effort in coming up with a potentially peaceful solution with respect to Syria–instead of military air strikes, they’re going to have  all of the chemical arsenals of Syria to be handed over to international control. President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on Tuesday night, Sep. 10, 2013…more details then….another day of peace is another day in the sun….we earthlings are evolving for the better! This is a wonderfully optimistic and hopeful outlook for the future of human kind.

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On this hopeful and optimistic note, I’d like to share another presentation of hope and optimism for the future.  This is a talk that took place at the World Future Society 2013 conference at Chicago, IL, in July of 2013, given by John Smart, a futurist and scholar of accelerating change. Mr. Smart is founder and president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, an organization that does “outreach, education, research, and advocacy with respect to issues of accelerating change.” He is also running FERN (Foresight Education & Research Network) and Global Foresight (A Community Working to Advance Global Foresight Culture).

Smart is the principal advocate of the concept of “STEM compression,” (formerly “MEST compression“) the idea that the most (ostensibly) complex of the universe’s extant systems at any time (galaxies, stars, habitable planets, living systems, and now technological systems) use progressively less space, time, energy and matter (“STEM”) to create the next level of complexity in their evolutionary development (www.accelerationwatch.com/mest.html). A similar perspective is found in Buckminster Fuller’s writings on ephemeralization.

I invite you all to this energized presentation on 10 areas of technology that John Smart summarized as the Possible-Probable-Preferrable areas of technology waiting for our exploration in the future. For his presentation slides, please click on: www.accelerating.org/slides . In the video presentation below, we also get to see recommendations on multiple books  (such as: The Art of The Long View by Peter Schwartz, Factor Five by Ernst von Weizsacker, A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing by multiple contributors, Predictive Analyticsby Eric Siegel, etc., available at www.amazon.com.) resulting from in-depth research and insight. Enjoy!


We have already seen much change or development in solar energy. I believe in the years to come, our world will also realize even more of its accelerated exponential change with regard to solar energy.

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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16 February

The Unexpected Atmospheric Intruder

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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I apologize for interrupting our normal reporting of earthly solar energy…for most people in the U.S. woke up in the morning of Feb. 15, 2013, at 3:20:26 UTC, to videos from Russian dashboard cameras showing a fireball in the sky crashing down to the Earth. Below, is the video of this atmospheric intruder:

 

meteorite impacting the earth’s atmosphere (Don Davis/NASA)

A meteorite impacted the atmosphere and exploded above the Chelyabinsk region of central Russia, injuring approximately 1,200 people and causing roughly 1 billion rubles ($33 million U.S.) worth of damage.  This was the largest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century and the largest rock crashing onto the planet since a meteor broke up over Siberia’s Tunguska River in 1908. Preliminary information is that this object was unrelated to 50-meter asteroid 2012 DA14 (which made a safe pass by Earth on Feb. 15, 2013 few hours after the 17 meter meteorite  exploded above Chelyabinsk region of central Russia).

Meteorite impact area: Chelyabinsk, Russia *this event is unrelated to the 2012 DA14 flyby (image credit: Google Earth, NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The estimated size of the object (Russian meteorite), prior to entering Earth’s atmosphere, was about 55 feet (17 meter);  its estimated mass was about 10,000 tons, and estimated energy released during the event was nearly 500 kilotons of energy (making it more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by North Korea just few days ago).  These data generated used data that had been collected by five infrasound stations located around the world-the first recording of the event being in Alaska, over 6,500 kilometers away from Chelyabinsk. The infrasound data indicated that the event, from atmospheric entry to the meteor’s airborne disintegration took 32.5 seconds.  The calculations using the infrasound data were performed by Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

“We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average,” according to Paul Chodas of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. “When you have a fireball of this size we would expect a large number of meteorites to reach the surface and in this case there were probably some large ones.”

Although these sporadic showers of rocks from space may be scary and the earth’s technological capability in deflecting these killer space rocks has not yet arrived at its fruition, one’s odds of being killed by a meteorite is roughly 1 in 250,000;which means one is far more likely to die in an earthquake, tornado, flood, airplane crash, or car crash…but less likely to be killed by lightning.  Keep in mind that most asteroids burn up in the atmosphere long before they hit the earth’s ground and the few that do will probably hit open ocean or a remote part of the Earth.

May we not have another visit from these intruders until after we’ve perfected our deflecting technology.  Until then, be safe, every one and be supportive of the Near-Earth Object Program.

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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2 March

Ambitious Tongan Goal-Targets 50% Renewable Energy by 2015

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Readers and Friends,

Do you know which of the Pacific island nations is the only one that had avoided formal colonisation from the West ?

If your answer is Tonga, you would have been correct!  The Kingdom of Tonga is a sovereign state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands (fifty-two of which are inhabited) scattered over 700,000 square kilometers (270,000 sq mi) of ocean in the South Pacific.

Tonga on the Globe, wikimedia commons

The kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometers (500 mi) in a north-south line located at about a third of the distance from New Zealand to Hawaii. Tonga also was known as the Friendly Islands because of the friendly reception  accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit there in 1773.

As oil prices and CO2 emissions continue to increase, many countries in different corners of planet earth are trying to invest in renewable energy sources, such as the sun, wind, or geothermal energy, providing them with more energy security in the future.  Many nations are setting targets, to have certain amount of their overall energy consumption to be coming from renewable energy sources by 2015: Russia is aiming at 4.5%;China at 15%;Australia at 20%; Europe at 21% .   None of these nations was as ambitious as the South Pacific Tonga, setting its renewable energy target at 50% by 2015 (some even wanted it by 2012!) and already have a plan, the Tonga Energy Roadmap, for how it will achieve this lofty figure.

Now, I’d like to share a piece/clip of Tongan experience with solar and renewable energy with you, below:

“during the oil price spike in 2008, Tonga’s economy screeched to a halt. And since then, with oil prices continuing to rise, many consumers are not able to afford electricity at all.” Zachary Rybarczyk from Climate Progress wrote. Tonga is receiving financial support from New Zealand and technical support from the Renewable Energy & Efficiency Program (REEP) in the development of its renewable energy projects.  The Director General of REEP, Martin Hiller, hopes that Tonga will provide “a blueprint for other Pacific Island states that are grappling with similar challenges.”

The latest report from Earth Techling indicated that Tonga has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Masdar, a Abu Dhabi based company,  for the order of a 500 kilowatt solar project to be built on the island of Vava, to add to the 1 megawatt solar plant being constructed on the main island of Tongatapu.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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