Approaches to lowering the cost of solar energy conversion

Details

Event

George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC 2010-01-13

Speakers

Professor Peter Peumans
Event

Approaches to lowering the cost of solar energy conversion

The solar energy resource stands out because of its potential to supply our current and future energy needs. However, substantial cost reductions will be required to make solar energy the most economical energy source. In my research group, we are focused on improving the efficiency and lowering the manufacturing cost of solar energy systems to lower the cost of a solar kilowatt-hour. I will show how managing the flow of photons on the nanoscale using dielectric or metallic nanostructures can be used to improve light absorption in very thin absorbers, both in theory and experiment. I will also show how low-cost, solution-processed materials can be used to make high-performance transparent electrodes and fully solution-processed solar cells on cheap metal foil. Finally, I will highlight some of our work on a MEMS packaging approach to make large-area electronics from monolithic substrates and the application of this process to microconcentrator silicon solar cells.

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