Tag Archives: Photovoltaic

Quantum Dots Boost Solar Cells

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R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com discuss about quantum dots applications and how scientists use them to boost photovoltaic output.

LAKE WALES, Fla—Quantum dots are already being used commercially to boost the output and expand the color range of ultra-high-definition televisions, eliminating the need for the rare earth elements for which China as virtually cornered the market. Quantum dots, however, can also be used to absorb light to boost the output of photovoltaics, photocatalysts, light sensors, and other optoelectronic devices according to Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, N.Y.)

Quantum Dots Boost Solar Cells – [Link]

21.1% efficiency with Perovskite solar cells

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Scientists have successfully developed a Perovskite solar call containing Cesium which has attained an efficiency of 21.1%, as well as a world record for reproducibility. by Denis Meyer @ elektormagazine.com:

In adding Cesium, the scientists at EPFL, let by Michael Saliba, have developed the first Perovskite compound with triple cations (Cs/MA/FA). These new films are more stable in hot conditions and less affected by fluctuations in environmental variables. They have confirmed efficiencies of 21.1%, and exit efficiency of 18% in operational conditions, even beyond 250 h.

21.1% efficiency with Perovskite solar cells – [Link]

SolarBoost – Make Your Own USB Solar Mobile Charger

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SolarBoost is an open source smart interface that allows you to build your own powerful and portable solar charger for your phone and other mobile devices. It has two USB ports and can provide 5V @ 2A at each of them and is controlled by a 8-bit 32MHz Microchip PIC microcontroller. It is also equipped with various protection features like soft-start, over-temperature, over-charge, over-discharge, short-circuit and current limiter.

SolarBoost is the first open-hardware and open-source smart interface designed to give you the freedom and flexibility to make your own battery- and solar-powered power bank for charging cellphones, tablets, MP3 players, speakers, GPS navigators, and much more. Use it to also power your DIY electronics projects!

SolarBoost – Make Your Own USB Solar Mobile Charger – [Link]

Organic solar cells set new efficiency record

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The German company Heliatek has developed new OPV multi-junction solar cells with an efficiency of 13.2%. This is a world record for organic solar cells.

Thanks to the excellent low light and high temperature behavior of the organic semiconductor, the electricity generation of the newly developed cells corresponds to the output of conventional solar cells with 16 to 17% efficiency when both are under real world conditions.

Organic solar cells set new efficiency record – [Link]

Open Inverter, an open source micro-solar inverter

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Ken Boak has been working on an open source micro-solar inverter project:

We wanted to make a design that uses readily obtainable N-type FETS and an Arduino (more strictly a ATmega328P-PU on a breadboard) to generate the PWM signals and provide simple circuit protection, and load sensing. With the PWM signals generated in firmware it can easily be modified for 50Hz or 60Hz operation, either 115V or 230V operation and a wide range of battery input voltages.
We imagined that the final design could consist of an Arduino, an “Inverter Shield” containing FETs and driver ICs configued in a H-bridge and some voltage and current monitoring circuits. To make the inverter a 12V or 24V battery (or PV panel) and a 12V (or 24V) torroidal transformer would be added.

Open Inverter, an open source micro-solar inverter – [Link]

Arduino based MPPT solar charge controller

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by Abid Jamal @ electronicslovers.com:

what is Mppt( Maximum power point tracking) ?
“we use MPPT algorithm to get the maximum available power from the Photovoltaic module under certain conditions”

How MPPT works ? Why 150W solar panel does not equal to 150 w?
For example you bought a new solar panel from the market which puts out 7 amps. under charge the setting of a battery is configured to 12 volts : 7 amps times 12 volts = 84w (P=V*I) You lost over 66 watts – but you paid for 150 watts. That 66 watts is not going anywhere, but it,s due to the poor match of the solar output current and battery voltage .

Arduino based MPPT solar charge controller – [Link]

Solar Cells Made Obsolete – 3D rectennas aim at 40-to-90% efficiency

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R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

PORTLAND, Ore.–Now before you get all excited by the headline, which is not click-bait according to the researchers, a new kind of nanoscale rectenna (half antenna and half rectifier) can convert solar and infrared into electricity, plus be tuned to nearly any other frequency as a detector. The invention was made at Georgia Tech (Atlanta) and peer-reviewed in today’s issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Right now efficiency is only one percent, but in the paper (DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2015.220) professor Baratunde Cola and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, Atlanta) convincingly argue that they can achieve 40 percent broad spectrum efficiency (double that of silicon and more even than multi-junction gallium arsenide) at a one-tenth of the cost of conventional solar cells (and with an upper limit of 90 percent efficiency for single wavelength conversion).

Solar Cells Made Obsolete – 3D rectennas aim at 40-to-90% efficiency – [Link]

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes

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by Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com:

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced what it believes to be the lowest-available-power PMICs that enable an integrated module size of 1 cm² for solar-powered wireless sensor node (WSN) designs.

Intended to manage solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, these parts are said to be the lowest-power, single-chip Energy Harvesting PMICs, and can be used with solar cells as small as 1 cm². Cypress offers a complete, battery-free energy harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the new family, with the EZ-BLE PRoC module for Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 kit.

Energy-harvesting power management ICs for wireless sensor nodes – [Link]

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with a record 22.5 percent efficiency

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@ phys.org:

Nano-electronics research center imec announced today at Intersolar Europe, a new efficiency record for its large area n-type PERT (passivated emitter, rear totally diffused) crystalline silicon (Cz-Si) solar cell, now reaching 22.5 percent (calibrated at ISE CalLab). It is the highest efficiency achieved for a two-side-contacted solar cell processed on six inch commercially available n-type Cz-Si wafers without the use of passivated contacts.

N-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising alternatives to p-type solar cells for next generation highly efficient solar cells thanks to their ability to withstand light-induced degradation and to their higher tolerance to common metal impurities.

Large area industrial crystalline silicon n-PERT solar cell with a record 22.5 percent efficiency – [Link]