05 Mar '12, 10pm

Performing Plastics: New Marks for Promising Polymer Solar Cells

Just in the past couple of weeks we've seen numbers trotted out for a different set of solar tech: organic (aka polymer aka plastic) solar cells, approaching and exceeding 10 percent conversion efficiency. That's a far cry from the high-teens of crystalline silicon or even low-teens for other thin-film options—but it's a magical number to spur further interest in the technology beyond lab-scale tinkering, notes Keith Emery, who manages NREL's cell and module performance characterization group. And it's significant for a technology which promises more simplified manufacturability, and widened applications where rigid modules cannot dream of going, from building integration (BIPV) to niche markets like being sewn onto travel gear. UCLA researchers have unveiled a nearly 9-percent-efficient (NREL-confirmed ) tandem polymer solar cell. A single-layer device topped out at aroun...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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