May 4, 2009
Concentrated slivers promise
cheap solar power
Combine solar concentrators with solar
cells made from slivers of silicon and you've got a potentially inexpensive
source of solar electricity.
Sliver solar cells, developed in 2000, use thin strips of
crystalline silicon instead of entire wafers. A sliver cell with a
nine-times concentrator converts 18.8 percent of the light to electricity.
A sliver cell with a 37-times concentrator converts 18.4 percent of
the light to electricity.
Solar concentrators typically concentrate sunlight hundreds
of times onto very efficient solar cells. High-intensity solar concentrators
with high-efficiency solar cells are expensive but produce lots of
power. Using sliver cells with low- and medium-intensity concentrators
is less expensive and is a potential route to lower-cost solar energy.
solar cells for concentrator PV systems with concentration ratio below
Progress in Photovoltaics, published online April 28, 2009
Solar Cells -- background
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