Dec 29, 2010

More Efficient PV(photovoltaic) Panels

This article will not be for all of you but it is a great discussion of how Solar Panels are manufactured and how scientists are continually trying different chemistry to get the biggest bang for the buck since Photovoltaic panels due not convert energy as efficiently as they could.

Title: University of Illinois Experts Provide Us Little Known Solutions to Create More Efficient Pv panels

Although silicon is actually the market common semiconductor in many electronic products, including the solar cells that photo voltaic panels employ to transform sun rays into energy, it is hardly the most cost-efficient material available. For instance, the semiconductor gallium arsenide and connected ingredient semiconductors provide nearly 2 times the performance as silicon in solar units, however they are rarely utilized in utility-scale applications mainly because of their excessive manufacturing cost.

University. of Illinois. ( professors J. Rogers and X. Li explored lower-cost methods to manufacture thin films of gallium arsenide that also made possible flexibility in the kinds of units they can be incorporated into.

If you can decrease considerably the cost of gallium arsenide and some other compound semiconductors, then you can expand their own variety of applications.

Typically, gallium arsenide is placed in a individual thin layer on a small wafer. Either the preferred device is made directly on the wafer, or the semiconductor-coated wafer is cut up into chips of the desired dimension. The Illinois group made the decision to deposit several layers of the material on a one wafer, creating a layered, “pancake” stack of gallium arsenide thin films.

If you increase 10 layers in a single growth, you only have to fill the wafer one time. If you do this in ten growths, loading and unloading with heat range ramp-up as well as ramp-down take a lot of time. If you consider exactly what is necessary for every growth – the machine, the preparation, the time, the workers – the overhead saving this technique offers is a important expense reduction.

Next the scientists individually peel off the levels and move them. To complete this, the stacks swap levels of aluminum arsenide with the gallium arsenide. Bathing the stacks in a formula of acid and an oxidizing agent dissolves the layers of aluminum arsenide, freeing the individual thin sheets of gallium arsenide. A soft stamp-like system selects up the layers, one at a time from the top down, for exchange to another substrate – glass, plastic or silicon, depending on the application. Then the wafer may be used again for an additional growth.

By doing this it's possible to produce much more material much more fast and more price effectively. This process could produce mass quantities of material, as compared to simply the thin single-layer way in which it is usually grown.

Freeing the material from the wafer additionally starts the possibility of flexible, thin-film electronics produced with gallium arsenide or many other high-speed semiconductors. To make products that could conform but still keep higher efficiency, which is significant.

In a document shared online May twenty in the magazine Nature (, the team describes its techniques and shows 3 types of products using gallium arsenide chips manufactured in multilayer stacks: light devices, high-speed transistors and solar cells. The creators also provide a comprehensive price evaluation.

Another benefit associated with the multilayer method is the release from area constraints, specifically crucial for solar cells. As the layers are eliminated from the stack, they could be laid out side-by-side on one more substrate in order to generate a significantly greater surface area, whereas the typical single-layer method limits area to the size of the wafer.

For solar panels, you want large area coverage to catch as much sunshine as achievable. In an extreme situation we may grow enough layers to have ten times the area of the traditional.

After that, the group programs to investigate more prospective item applications and other semiconductor resources which might adapt to multilayer growth.

About the Writer - Shannon Combs publishes articles for the residential solar power systems cost weblog, her personal hobby blog focused on ideas to help home owners to save energy with solar power. 

Conservastore believes strongly in alternative energy

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