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Posted on August 25, 2010 by  & 

PV-Nano: Development of a novel thin film photovoltaic cell technology

EnSol AS has patented a novel, prototype thin film photovoltaic cell design based on nanocrystal technology. The basic cell concept has been demonstrated, and it is the objective of this research and development project to systematically refine this PV cell technology to achieve a cell efficiency of 20% or greater.
A thin film deposition system with nanocrystal source will be designed and constructed in collaboration with the University of Leicester (UK) for the fabrication of prototype cells based on this design. This experimental facility will be designed to produce PV cells with an active area in excess of 16 cm2 deposited onto standard glass substrates.
These prototype cells will subsequently be characterised and tested in collaboration with our academic partners. EnSol has recently commissioned a business case report, which demonstrated that this unique, 4th generation PV cell technology has tremendous industrial potential, with low environmental impact, cost effective production via standard "spray on" magnetron techniques, this technology can realistically compete with existing established PV cell technology.
EnSol aims to construct a world class thin film deposition facility in Norway, based on experience gained working in collaboration with the Condensed Matter Physics group at the University of Leicester (UK), during the production of prototype cells.
This initial development stage has been supported by funding from the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norge, and local business development aid. Continued funding & investment is required to ensure the progressive expansion of this promising research. A small workshop will be held in the UK in early August to discuss synergistic long term research and development strategies & potential funding options, with our academic, industrial, & funding partners.
Prototype cell fabrication
Main Image: Electron microscope image of nanocrystals produced
Source: EnSol AS
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