Yesterday, the Commerce Department announced that it would impose duties as high as 4.73% on solar energy equipment imported from China. Stemming from a complaint lodged with the government last year by a group of solar manufacturing companies led by SolarWorld, this latest round was expected.
solar cell efficiency
IBM researchers have increased by 40 percent the efficiency of a thin solar cell that can be applied like ink and that uses widely available materials.
The new cells can convert solar energy into electricity with an efficiency of 9.6 percent, a significant improvement on the 6.7 percent high for existing technologies and close to the level that would make the cells practical for use in commercial solar panels, according to a report published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The new technology uses a semiconductor material made of fairly abundant elements — including copper, zinc, tin, sulfur and selenium — and utilizes an inexpensive ink-based process in creating the cell.