ScienceDaily (2008-05-17) — Scientists have improved the efficiency of an important type of solar cell from 21.9 to 23.2 percent (a relative improvement of 6 per cent). The efficiency improvement is achieved by the use of an ultra-thin aluminum oxide layer at the front of the cell, and it brings a breakthrough in the use of solar energy a step closer. The costs of applying the thin layer of aluminum oxide are expected to be relatively low.
Solar cells have for years looked like a highly promising way to partly solve the energy problem. The sun rises day after day, and solar cells can conveniently be installed on surfaces with no other useful purpose. Solar energy also offers opportunities for use in developing countries, many of which have high levels of sunshine. Within ten to fifteen years the price of electricity generated by solar cells is expected to be comparable to that of ‘conventional’ electricity from fossil fuels.
This technology breakthrough now brings the industrial application of this type of high-efficiency solar cell closer.
Read the whole story–http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080514154702.htm