The Future of Solar Technology

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The future of solar technology clearly lies away from the expensive rigid structure of extensive silicon crystalline structures, and towards the non-silicon based technologies. Governments and private firms must continue to invest the capital needed to fund research and development in these fields of more flexible and versatile solar cells in order to acheieve higher efficiencies and improve the manufacturing process of these technologies; as currently they remain in their infancy.
3.4 Non Silicon Based Polycrystalline cells
Research into non silicon based solar cells is an exciting stage, with labs all over the world making advances in this field. It has been hypothesized and proven that other semi conductor materials can be doped to provide the conductive layer necessary for a solar cell to work. Copper oxide was used, but it was found to not retain the doping agents well; to overcome this a new type of cell called screening-engineered field-effect photovoltaics (SPFV’s) were produced. These require a small electric field to be present in order to keep the p-n junction functioning, this electric field is far less than the electricity that can be generated from the cell, and the reduced cost of not having to use silicon makes this a more than viable resource. (Anthony, 2012)
Copper Indium Gallium Selenide cells (CIGS) are another branch of thin film photovoltaics being researched, with laboratory prototypes achieving efficiencies of approximately 18%. CIGS cells have a huge
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