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SOLAR CELLS. ESW Sustainable Technology of the Month! Presented by: Brad Gething. DISCLAIMER. I am not an expert in photovoltaics  This presentation is not a comprehensive review of the state of the art. Not all of the information presented originates from peer reviewed sources.

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solar cells

SOLAR CELLS

ESW

SustainableTechnology of the Month!

Presented by: Brad Gething

disclaimer
DISCLAIMER
  • I am not an expert in photovoltaics 
  • This presentation is not a comprehensive review of the state of the art.
  • Not all of the information presented originates from peer reviewed sources.
background
BACKGROUND
  • 1839 - Photovoltaic effect was discovered by the French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel.
  • 1918 - Polish scientist Jan Czochralski discovered a method for monocrystalline silicon production. The first silicon monocrystalline solar cell was constructed in 1941.
  • 1955 - Western Electric put for sale commercial licenses for solar cells production (mainly for space exploration). Hoffman Electronics-Semiconductor Division introduced a commercial photovoltaic product with 2 % efficiency for $25 per cell with 14 mW peak power. Cost - $1,785 per W.
  • 1973 – U. Delaware produced a photovoltaic-thermal hybrid system Solar one, one of the first photovoltaic systems for domestic application. Cost - $30 per W
  • 1984 - 1 MW photovoltaic power plant began to operate in Sacramento, California. ARCO Solar introduced the first amorphous modules.
  • 1992 - A silicon solar cell with 20 % efficiency was patented.
  • 2002 - Cumulative worldwide installed PV capacity expected to reach 2000 MW
how they work

Si-P

1

Si-B

Si-P

3

Si-B

Si-P

2

Si-B

HOW THEY WORK
economics
ECONOMICS
  • A 3 kW PV residential retrofit system in the US costs ~$25,000
  • Amortized over a 20 year mortgage, the cost of PV electricity is ~25 cents per kWh in most U.S. locations
  • The average cost of utility/grid electricity is 8.2 cents per kWh in the U.S. and between 0.10 and 0.15 €per kWh in Europe.
  • Studies suggest an added hidden societal cost behind all fossil-fueled power plant ranging from 7 to 20 cents per kWh.
economics1
ECONOMICS
  • Although the production of electrical grade Si has increased, acquisition of raw Si has not.

DEMAND > SUPPLY

key point
KEY POINT
  • Costs can be reduced by:
    • Alternative materials
      • Reduced material cost
      • Reduced processing cost
      • Increased efficiencies
    • Alternative uses of Si
      • Amorphous Si (non-crystalline)
      • Si layered with glass
alternatives
ALTERNATIVES
  • Materials
    • Cadmium Telluride
    • Polymers
    • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Processing
    • Thin films
    • Ribbon Printing
    • Nano-crystalline materials
efficiencies
EFFICIENCIES
  • Amorphous silicon (Tandem) 6 - 7%
  • Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin film 8 - 10%
  • Multi (or Poly) crystalline silicon 12 -15%
  • Mono-crystalline silicon (SiN) 13 -16%
  • Saturn Mono-crystalline silicon 15 -18%
want to learn more
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
  • PSU Courses
    • EDSGN 497A: Sustainable Design and Engineering
    • ENGR 097S: Solar Racers
  • Center for Sustainability (www.engr.psu.edu/cfs)
    • Solar Decathlon
      • www.solar.psu.edu
    • Powerlion- portable PV station
    • New 1750 W PV array
  • Penn State Energy Institute – Sustainable Energy Research
  • Faculty
    • Dr. Andy Lau – ASE
    • Dr. Christopher Wronski – EE
    • Dr. John Asbury - Chemistry
references
REFERENCES

http://www.pvresources.com/en/history.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaics

http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-cell.htm

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Solar PhotovoltaicsBut Were Afraid to Ask”, BP Solar Publication

International Energy Outlook 2006, Energy Information Administration

Annual Energy Outlook 2007 , Energy Information Administration

Flin, David. “Thin films for fat profits”, Modern Power Systems, 26(2), 2006.

let s chat questions comments
LET’S CHAT!QUESTIONS??COMMENTS??

“I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

--Thomas Edison

“If to do were as easy as to know what is good to do, then paupers would be princes and a poor man’s hovel, a rich man’s estate.”

– William Shakespeare

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