Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Solar Paper

Popular Science

December 2007

Michael Moyer

Posted by Scott

A solar panel that can now be printed like a document on a computer. That is exactly what the company, Nanosolar, is making...thin-film solar cells. Nanosolar's cells are made with a printing press which means they can be created for about one tenth of what regular solar panels cost. Nanosolar has already begun producing these cells. When traditional solar cells are manufactured, up to 70 percent of the silicon is wasted. The Nanosolar cells do NOT use silicon, and they are just as efficient. Normal cells are usually 4$ per watt. Nanosolar cells can be made for as little as 30 cents per watt. Soon we could be seeing these cell on top of 18-wheelers, garages, and schools. There are endless possibilities since Nanosolar panels will work anywhere there is sunlight.

These Nanosolar cells are made of a base layer of aluminum, which supports a layer of electrodes. This is a coating of molybdenum. Light falls on a semiconductor which kicks electrons loose. Next a P/N junction layer moves the electrons onto a clear zinc oxide electrode, which can be used to power your home and then go back to the first electron which then completes the circuit.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea. I'd love to see it get a lot of use.

Aunt Anne said...

This is fascinating. I will try to learn more about it. Can I just "google" it? Is your other comment from someone in the family? Old Anonymous?
Aunt Anne