New Solar Technology Sets World Record
Aug 9, 2007 10:33
PITTSBURGH, -- A US solar technology company announced today that its organic photovoltaic technology achieved a world record in the conversion of solar light to power efficiency. The company -- Plextronics, Inc. -- achieved a result of 5.4 percent, a new world record for single layer organic solar cells as certified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden, Colorado.
Troy Hammond, vice president of products for Plextronics, says they began their organic photovoltaic development program less than two years ago, with the support of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.
NREL is considered the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy R&D.
The company has developed ink systems for organic photovoltaic cells that allow low-cost printing of photo-active and charge carrier layers, which together convert light to power in the organic photovoltaic cell.
The ability to print organic photovoltaic cells on glass or plastic drastically reduces the cost of energy compared to silicon solar cell technology.
Specifically, Plextronics' technology has the potential to reduce the cost of solar cells below the commercially important threshold of $1 per watt, which is a reduction of up to five times that of crystalline silicon-based solar energy systems.
Plextronics, Inc. makes printed electronics. Printed electronics include next-generation light, power and circuitry products, including flexible displays, plastic solar cells and organic RFID tags. The market for printed electronics was approximately $1 billion in 2006 and is expected to exceed $300 billion within 20 years.
Plextronics was founded in 2002 as a spinout from Carnegie Mellon University, based upon conductive polymer technology developed by Dr. Richard McCullough.
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