NREL develops solar cell breakthrough

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 10:04am

Cost-efficient photovoltaic systems are one of the Holy Grails of sustainable building design. Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colo., recently announced that they've developed solar cells with an efficiency of 18.2%—potentially a major step toward lowering the cost of solar energy. Nanotechnology was used to develop a product that should eliminate the need for an anti-reflection layer, which boosts costs significantly. The Department of Energy funded the research with a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The research should be meaningful for all teams that have been laboring to create solar cells based on nanowires and nanospheres, according to NREL researcher Howard Branz.


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