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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

Green Solar Cell Material Takes an Efficiency Leap

by Jeff Hopkins, on 8/9/18 9:00 AM

Perfect Recipe: Flexible, Non-toxic, Abundant, and Inexpensive

Solar energy researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia are another step closer to bringing sulfide kesterite into use for thin-film solar cells. Sulfide kesterite is a photovoltaic (PV) material made up of four elements that are abundant and easily obtainable from the earth’s crust—and therefore inexpensive: copper, zinc, tin and sulfur.

The material is flexible and has the important added benefit of being non-toxic. Crucially for cost, it can be manufactured using the processes in place for current PVs. The missing attribute is efficiency, which needs to reach at least 20%. The good news is that the research team has been breaking records bringing the efficiency levels first to 7.6% and now to 11%. They are optimistic about their chances of eventually being able to achieve 20% and revolutionizing the solar industry.

Read the UNSW Sydney Newsroom article for more detail→

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