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June 16, 2010

Project for 65% Efficient Nanowire Solar Cells with 50 cents per Watt Cost

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1. Researchers have gotten a 1.2 million euro grant to develop nanowire solar cells with 65% efficiency.

Nanowire solar cells in combination with the use of concentrated solar through mirror systems, has the potential to lead to the world’s most efficient solar cell system with a cost price lower than 50 cent per Watt peak. In comparison: for the present generation of solar cells that cost price is 1.50 euro per Watt peak. Researchers expect that in ten years their nano-structured solar cells can attain an efficiency of more than 65 percent

Nanowires make it possible to stack a number of subcells (junctions). In this process each subcell converts one color of sunlight optimally to electricity. The highest yield reported until now in a nanowire solar cell is 8.4 percent. Haverkort: "We expect that a protective shell around the nanowires is the critical step towards attaining the same efficiency with nanowire solar cells as with thin-film cells." Haverkort thinks that at 5 to 10 junctions he will arrive at an efficiency of 65 percent.
the current solar cell efficiency record is 41.1%


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