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Transparent Solar Panels

Seminar Report

A SEMINAR REPORTON TRANSPARENT SOLAR PANELS Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for award of the degree of BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY BY ADITYA LUTHRA (09ELDEC009)

Submitted By : ADITYA LUTHRA

Submitted To: Mr. ANUJ JAIN

LAXMI DEVI INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY ALWAR-TIJARA-DELHI HIGHWAY, CHIKANI, ALWAR (RAJ)-301028 (2012-2013)

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CERTIFICATE

This to certify that the dissertation report entitled TRANSPARENT SOLAR PANELS being submitted by: ADITYA LUTHRA (09ELDEC009) In the partial fulfillment for the award of degree of Bachelor of technology in ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATION at the department of electronics & communication, LAXMI DEVI INSITITUE OF ENGG.& TECH. ALWAR are Record students, their work is carried by them under our supervision and guidance.

MR. ANUJ JAIN (Seminar incharge)

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Contents
1. Introduction 2. Energy Scenario 3. Environmental Impact Of Solar Power 4. Principle Of Operation Of Solar Photovoltaic 5. Solar Panels 6. Advantages Of Solar Energy 7. Disadvantages Of Conventional Solar Panels 8. Transparent Solar Panels 9. Advantages Of Transparent Solar Panels 10. Conclusion

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INTRODUCTION
Sun is the primary source of Energy. The earth receives 16 x 1018 units of energy from the sun annually, which is 20,000 times the requirement of mankind on the Earth. Some of the Solar Energy causes evaporation of water, leading to rains and creation of rivers etc. Some of it is utilized in photosynthesis which is essential for sustenance of life on earth. Man has tried from time immemorial to harness this infinite source of energy. But has been able to tap only a negligibly fraction of this energy till today. The broad categories of possible large scale applications of solar power are the heating and cooling of residential and commercial buildings. A. The chemical and Biological conversion of organic material to liquid solid and gaseous fuels. B. Conversion of solar energy to Electricity. In this project we use the solar energy for the generation of electrical energy, by using solar cells. The solar cell receives the solar energy. The solar cells operate on the principle of photovoltaic effect, by using solar cells. Basically the cells are placed in an open and fixed manner.

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1.1 ENERGY SCENERIO


Drastic changes in energy conversion system are anticipated due to shortage of conventional fuels. Fuel deposit in the world will soon deplete by the end of 2020. Fossil fuel scarcity will be maximum. The main reasons for the above are due to increasing demand for electricity, rising population, rapid advance in technology. It is worth while to mention here that indiscriminate use of commercial energy has lead to serious environment problems like air and water pollutions. Man, when he is embarking on use of alternate sources of energy should bear in mind, his environment. The creation of new source of perennial environmentally acceptable, low cost electrical energy as a replacement for energy from rapidly depleting resources of fossil fuels is the fundamental need for the survival of mankind.

1.2 SOLAR ENERGY OPTIONS


Solar energy has the greatest potential of all the sources of renewable energy and it will be one of the most important source of energy especially when other sources in the country have depleted. Solar energy could supply all the present and future energy needs of the world on a connecting basis. This makes it one of the most promising of the nonconventional energy sources. Solar Energy can be a major source of power. Its potential is 178 billion MW which is about 20,000 times the worlds demand. The energy radiated by the sun on a bright sunny day is approximately 1kw/m2. The problem associated with the use of solar energy is that its availability varies widely with time. The variations in availability occur daily, because of the day-night cycle and also seasonally because of Earths orbit around the sun. In addition variations occur at a specific location because of local weather conditions. Consequently the energy collected with the sun is shining must be stored for use during periods when it is not available. Attempts have been made to make use of this energy in raising steam which may be used in driving the prime movers for the purpose of generation of electrical energy. However due to large space requirement and uncertainty of availability in constant rate this method becomes ineffective. Photovoltaic cell is an alternate device used for power generation which converts suns radiation directly into electrical power. Thus power generated can be stored and utilized.

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1.3 GENERAL CONCEPT


In 1968 Dr. Peter Glaser in the U.S. Published an idea that centered on the fact that in orbit close to earth, 1.43 KW of solar energy illuminates may one square meter which is considerably greater and one more continuous than an anyone square meter on the Earth which, even when perpendicular to the sun can receive only a maximum of 1 kw. His idea was, converting sunlight to electricity to convert to a radio frequency signal and beamed down to the earth carrying significant levels of energy. This electricity is by establishing a very large array of solar cells in geostationary orbit. A receiving antenna station on the earth would convert this radio frequency back into an alternate current which would be fed into a local grid. The applications of solar energy which are enjoying most success today are:

1) heating and cooling of residential buildings 2) Solar water heating 3) Solar drying of agriculture and animal products 4) Solar distillation on a small community scale 5) Salt production by evaporation of seawater or inland brines 6) Solar cookers 7) Solar engines for water pumping 8) Food refrigeration 9) Bio conversion and wind energy, which are indirect source of solar energy 10) Solar furnaces 11) Solar electric power generation

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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF SOLAR POWER

1.3.1 Air Pollution


This can be caused by chemical reactants used in storage or organic fluids for heat transport. The release of CO, SO2, SO3, hydrocarbon vapors and other toxic gases should be accounted, through their magnitude is not high. The fire hazard associated with over heated organic working fluids exists. Human tissues when exposed would be destroyed because of high energy flux densities.

1.3.2 Land Use


Solar plants require large land and the collection field produce shading not normally present over large areas. This may cause disturbance in local ecosystem.

1.3.3 Noise and Thermal Effect


The thermal effects of solar plants are minimal. Actually these systems eliminate local thermal pollution associated with fossil fuel combustion. Some reduction in local environmental heat budget or balance will occur if electricity produced is exported elsewhere. Solar systems do not add any new noise to that already existing in the present industrial or utility areas.

1.3.4 Major Advantages Of Solar Cells


1) Solar cells directly convert the solar radiation into electricity using photovoltaic effect without going through a thermal process. 2) Solar cells are reliable, modular, durable and generally maintenance free and therefore, suitable even in isolated and remote areas. 3) Solar cells are quiet, benign, and compatible with almost all environments, respond instantaneously with solar radiation and have an expected life time of 20 or more years. 4) Solar cells can be located at the place of use and hence no distribution network is required.

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1.3.5 Major Disadvantages Of Solar Cells


1) The conversion efficiency of solar cells is limited to 10 percent. Large areas of solar cell modular are required to generate sufficient useful power. 2) The present costs of solar cells are comparatively high, making them economically uncompetitive with other conventional power generation methods for terrestrial applications, particularly where the demand of power is very large. 3) Solar energy is intermittent and solar cells produce electricity when sun shines and in proportion to solar intensity. Hence, some kind of electric storage is required making the whole system more costly. However, in large installations, the electricity generated by solar cells can be fed directly into the electric grid system.

PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION OF SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS


The solar energy can be directly converted into electrical energy by means of photovoltaic effect, i.e. conversion of light into electricity. Generation of an electromotive force due to absorption of ionizing radiation is known as photovoltaic effect. The energy conversion devices which are used to convert sunlight to electricity by use of the photovoltaic effect are called solar cells. Photo voltaic energy conversion is one of the most popular nonconventional energy source. The photovoltaic cell offers an existing potential for capturing solar energy in a way that will provide clean, versatile, renewable energy. This simple device has no moving parts, negligible maintenance costs, produces no pollution and has a lifetime equal to that of a conventional fossil fuel. Photovoltaic cells capture solar energy and convert it directly to electrical current by separating electrons from their parent atoms and accelerating them across a one way electrostatic barrier formed by the function between two different types of semiconductor material.

2.1 Photo Voltaic Effect On Semiconductors


Semi conductors are materials which are neither conductors nor insulators. The photo voltaic effect can be observed in nature in a variety of materials but semiconductors has shown best
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performance.When photons from the sun are absorbed in a semiconductor they create for electrons with higher energies than the electrons which provide the boarding in the base crystal. Once these electrons are created, there must be an electric field to induce these higher energy electrons to flow out of the semiconductor to do useful work. The electric field in most solar cells is provided by a junction of materials which have different electrical properties. To understand more about the functioning and properties of semiconductors, let us briefly discuss.Semi conductors are classified into

1)Extrinsic semiconductor 2) Intrinsic semiconductor. Semiconductors in its purest form are called intrinsic and when impurities are added it is called extrinsic. Further extrinsic semiconductors are divided into p type and N type semiconductor.

2.2 P-Type Semiconductor


When a small amount of pentavalent impurities (e.g. Gallium, Indium, Aluminum, and Boron) are added to intrinsic semiconductor, it is called as p type semiconductor. In p type semiconductor, when an electric potential is applied externally, the holes are directed towards the negative electrode. Hence current is produced.

2.3 N- Type Semiconductor


When a small amount of pentavalent impurities (e.g. Antimony, Arsenic, Bismuth, Phosphorus) are added to intrinsic semiconductors it is called N type semiconductor. When an external electrical field is applied the free electrons are directed towards positive electrode. Hence current is produced.

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2.4 PN Junction Silicon Solar Cell


A PN junction is formed from a piece of semiconductor by diffusing p type materials to one half side and N type materials to other half side. It consists of both types of semiconductor materials. The N type layer is situated towards the sunlight. As N type layer is thin, light can penetrate through it. The energy of the sunlight will create free electron in the N type material and holes in the p type material. This condition built up the voltage with in the crystal. Because the holes will travel to the +ve region and the holes will travel to the ve region. This conduction ability is one of the main technical goals in fabricating solar cells.

2.5 Purification And Reformation Into Wafers


The purification process basically entails high temperature melting of the sand and simultaneous reduction in the presence of hydrogen. This results in a very pure polycrystalline form of silicon. The next step is to reform this silicon into a single crystal and then cut the crystal into a single crystal and then cut the crystal into individual wafers. There are two methods namelyczochralski growth method and film fed growth. The former method produces single, cylindrical crystals and later produces continuous ribbon of silicon crystals. Then this cylindrical crystal and ribbon crystal is transformed into disc shaped cells and rectangular cells by slicing. After that one side is doped by exposure to high temperature phosphorus, forming a thin layer of N type material. Similarly p type is made. Electrical contacts are applied to the two surfaces, an anti-reflection coating is added to the entire surface and the entire cell is then sealed with protective skin.

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2.6 Antireflective Coating


Antireflective coating (arc) is an important part of a solar cell since the bare silicon has a reflection coefficient of 0.33 to 0.54 in the spectral range of 0.35 to1.1 cm. The arc not only reduces the reflection losses but also lowers the surface recombination velocity. A single optimal layer of ARC can reduce the reflection to10 percent and two layers can reduce the reflection up to 3 percent in desired range of wavelengths. Generally, Arcs are produced on the solar cell by vacuum evaporation process and the coatings which are tried are SiO2, SiO, Al2O3, TiO2, Ta2O5 and Si3N4. Other methods of deposition are sputtering, spin-on, spray-on or screen printing. Only the vacuum evaporation sputtering give good results but are expensive. The average reflection can be further reduced by using two antireflective coatings instead of one where the outside (exposed side) coating has an index of refraction1.3 to 1.6 and the second layer between silicon and the first layer has an index of refraction 2.2 to 2.6. This two layer ARC gives a better impedance match betweenthe index of silicon and the index of air.

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Fig 2.1 reflective coating

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Solar Panels
A solar panel (also solar module, photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panel) is a packaged, connected assembly of photovoltaic cells. The solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each panel is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions, and typically ranges from 100 to 320 watts. The efficiency of a panel determines the area of a panel given the same rated output - an 8% efficient 230 watt panel will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 watt panel. Because a single solar panel can produce only a limited amount of power, most installations contain multiple panels. A photovoltaic system typically includes an array of solar panels, an inverter, and sometimes a battery and or solar tracker and interconnection wiring.

Theory and Construction:


Solar panels use light energy (photons) from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells based on cadmium telluride or silicon. The structural (load carrying) member of a module can either be the top layer or the back layer. Cells must also be protected from mechanical damage and moisture. Most solar panels are rigid, but semi-flexible ones are available, based on thin-film cells. These early solar panels were first used in space in 1958. Electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage and/or in parallel to provide a desired current capability. The conducting wires that take the current off the panels may contain silver, copper or other non-magnetic conductive transition metals. The cells must be connected electrically to one another and to the rest of the system. Externally, popular terrestrial usage photovoltaic panels use MC3 (older) or MC4 connectors to facilitate easy weatherproof connections to the rest of the system. Bypass diodes may be incorporated or used externally, in case of partial panel shading, to maximize the output of panel sections still illuminated. The p-n junctions of mono-crystalline silicon cells may have adequate reverse voltage characteristics to prevent damaging panel section reverse current. Reverse currents could lead to overheating of shaded cells. Solar cells become less efficient at higher temperatures and installers try to provide good ventilation behind solar panels. Some recent solar panel designs include concentrators in which light is focused by lenses or mirrors onto an array of smaller cells. This enables the use of cells with a high cost per unit area (such as gallium arsenide) in a cost-effective way.

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Efficiencies
Depending on construction, photovoltaic panels can produce electricity from a range of frequencies of light, but usually cannot cover the entire solar range (specifically, ultraviolet, infrared and low or diffused light). Hence much of the incident sunlight energy is wasted by solar panels, and they can give far higher efficiencies if illuminated with monochromatic light. Therefore, another design concept is to split the light into different wavelength ranges and direct the beams onto different cells tuned to those ranges. This has been projected to be capable of raising efficiency by 50%. Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate (solar panel efficiency) is around 17.4% in new commercial products typically lower than the efficiencies of their cells in isolation. The most efficient mass-produced solar panels[disputed discuss] have energy density values of up to 16.22 W/ft2 (175 W/m2).

Thin Film Modules:


Third generation solar cells are advanced thin-film cells. They produce high-efficiency conversion at low cost.

Rigid Thin-film Modules:


In rigid thin film modules, the cell and the module are manufactured in the same production line.The cell is created on a glass substrate or superstrate, and the electrical connections are created in situ, a so-called "monolithic integration". The substrate or superstrate is laminated with an encapsulant to a front or back sheet, usually another sheet of glass. The main cell technologies in this category are CdTe, or a-Si, or a-Si+uc-Si tandem, or CIGS (or variant). Amorphous silicon has a sunlight conversion rate of 6-12%.

Flexible thin film Modules:


Flexible thin film cells and modules are created on the same production line by depositing the photoactive layer and other necessary layers on a flexible substrate.If the substrate is an insulator (e.g. polyester or polyimide film) then monolithic integration can be used.If it is a conductor then another technique for electrical connection must be used. The cells are assembled into modules by laminating them to a transparent colourlessfluoropolymer on the front side (typically ETFE or FEP) and a polymer suitable for bonding to the final substrate on the other side. The only commercially available (in MW quantities) flexible module uses amorphous silicontriple junction (from Unisolar).
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So-called inverted metamorphic (IMM) multijunction solar cells made on compoundsemiconductor technology are just becoming commercialized in July 2008. The University of Michigan's solar car that won the North American Solar Challenge in July 2008 used IMM thinfilm flexible solar cells. The requirements for residential and commercial are different in that the residential needs are simple and can be packaged so that as solar cell technology progresses, the other base line equipment such as the battery, inverter and voltage sensing transfer switch still need to be compacted and unitized for residential use. Commercial use, depending on the size of the service will be limited in the photovoltaic cell arena, and more complex parabolic reflectors and solar concentrators are becoming the dominant technology.The global flexible and thin-film photovoltaic (PV) market, despite caution in the overall PV industry, is expected to experience a CAGR of over 35% to 2019, surpassing 32 GW according to a major new study by IntertechPira.

Module Performance and Aging :


Module performance is generally rated under standard test conditions (STC): irradiance of 1,000 W/m, solar spectrum of AM 1.5 and module temperature at 25C.Electrical characteristics include nominal power (PMAX, measured in W), open circuit voltage (VOC), short circuit current (ISC, measured in amperes), maximum power voltage (VMPP), maximum power current (IMPP), peak power, Wp, and module efficiency (%). Nominal voltage refers to the voltage of the battery that the module is best suited to charge; this is a leftover term from the days when solar panels were only used to charge batteries. The actual voltage output of the panel changes as lighting, temperature and load conditions change, so there is never one specific voltage at which the panel operates. Nominal voltage allows users, at a glance, to make sure the panel is compatible with a given system.Open circuit voltage or VOC is the maximum voltage that the panel can produce when not connected to an electrical circuit or system. VOC can be measured with a meter directly on an illuminated panel's terminals or on its disconnected cable. The peak power rating, Wp, is the maximum output according under standard test conditions (not the maximum possible output). Typical panels, which could measure approximately 1x2 meters or 2x4 feet, will be rated from as low as 75 Watts to as high as 350 Watts, depending on their efficiency. At the time of testing, the test panels are binned according to their test results, and a typical manufacturer might rate their panels in 5 Watt increments, and either rate them at +/- 3%, +/-5%, +3/-0% or +5/-0%. Solar panels must withstand rain, hail, and cycles of heat and cold for many years. Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%. The output power of many panels slowly degrades at about 0.5%/year.

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Production:
In 2010, 15.9 GW of solar PV system installations were completed, with solar PV pricing survey and market research companyPVinsights reporting growth of 117.8% in solar PV installation on a year-on-year basis. With over 100% year-on-year growth in PV system installation, PV module makers dramatically increased their shipments of solar panels in 2010. They actively expanded their capacity and turned themselves into gigawattGW players. According to PVinsights, five of the top ten PV module companies in 2010 are GW players. Suntech, First Solar, Sharp, Yingli and Trina Solar are GW producers now, and most of them doubled their shipments in 2010.

Recycling:
Most parts of a solar module can be recycled including up to 95% of certain semiconductor materials or the glass as well as large amounts of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Some private companies and non-profit organizations are currently engaged in take-back and recycling operations for end-of-life modules. Recycling possibilities depend on the kind of technology used in the modules:

Silicon based modules: aluminium frames and junction boxes are dismantled manually at the beginning of the process. The module is then crushed in a mill and the different fractions are separated - glass, plastics and metals. It is possible to recover more than 80% of the incoming weight. This process can be performed by flat glass recyclers since morphology and composition of a PV module is similar to those flat glasses used in the building and automotive industry. The recovered glass for example is readily accepted by the glass foam and glass insulation industry. Non-silicon based modules: they require specific recycling technologies such as the use of chemical baths in order to separate the different semiconductor materials. For cadmium telluride panels, the recycling process begins by crushing the module and subsequently separating the different fractions. This recycling process is designed to recover up to 90% of the glass and 95% of the semiconductor materials contained. Some commercial-scale recycling facilities have been created in recent years by private companies.

Since 2010, there is an annual European conference bringing together manufacturers, recyclers and researchers to look at the future of PV module recycling.

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Top 10 Producers:
The top ten solar panel producers (by MW shipments) in 2011 were: 1. Suntech 2. First Solar 3. Sharp Solar 4. Yingli 5. Trina Solar 6. Canadian Solar 7. Hanwha Solarone 8. Sunpower 9. Renewable Energy Corporation 10. Solarworld

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular as the world begins to take notice of the burgeoning carbon emission problems that come with burning fossil fuels. But why all the fuss? Nay-sayers have become less and less vocal as solar energys popularity has grown increasingly unhindered. Below I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Advantages Of Solar Energy: No green house gases

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Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy: The major benefit of solar is avoiding green house gases that fossil fuels produce.The first and foremost advantage of solar energy is that it does not emit any green house gases. Solar energy is produced by conducting the suns radiation a process void of any smoke, gas, or other chemical by-product.This is the main driving force behind all green energy technology, as nations attempt to meet climate change obligations in curbing emissions. Italys Montalto di Castro solar park is a good example of solars contribution to curbing emissions. It avoids 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel energy production.

Infinite Free Energy


Another advantage of using solar energy is that beyond initial installation and maintenance, solar energy is one hundred percent free.Solar doesnt require expensive and ongoing raw materials like oil or coal, and requires significantly lower operational labor than conventional power production. Lower costs are direct as well as indirect less staff working at the power plant as the sun and the solar semi conductors do all the work, as well as no raw materials that have to be extracted, refined, and transported to the power plant.

Decentralization of power
Solar energy offers decentralization in most (sunny) locations, meaning self-reliant societies.Oil, coal, and gas used to produce conventional electricity is often transported cross-country or internationally. This transportation has a myriad of additional costs, including monetary costs, pollution costs of transport, and roading wear and tear costs, all of which is avoided with solar. Of course, decentralization has its limits as some locations get more sunlight than others.

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Going off the grid with solar

Solar Barn
Going off grid is a huge advantage of solar power for people in isolated locations.Solar energy can be produced on or off the grid. On grid means a house remains connected to the state electricity grid. Off grid has no connection to the electricity grid, so the house, business or whatever being powered is relying solely on the solar or solar-hybrid.The ability to produce electricity off the grid is a major advantage of solar energy for people who live in isolated and rural areas. Power prices and the cost of installing power lines are often exorbitantly high in these places and many have frequent power-cuts. Many city-dwellers are also choosing to go off the grid with their alternate energy as part of a self-reliant lifestyle.
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Solar jobs
A particularly relevant and advantageous feature of solar energy production is that it creates jobs.The EIAA states that Europes solar industry has created 100,000 jobs so far. Solar jobs come in many forms, from manufacturing, installing, monitoring and maintaining solar panels, to research and design, development, cultural integration, and policy jobs.The book Natural Capitalism has a very appropriate view of the employment benefits of green design and a prudent approach to using resources.The book proposes that while green technology and increased employment cost alot of money, much greater money can be saved through simple but drastically improved resource efficiency. With solar energy currently contributing only an estimated 4% of the worlds electricity, and an economic-model where raw materials dont have to be indefinitely purchased and transported, its reasonable so assume solar jobs are sustainable if the solar industry can survive the recession.

Solars avoidance of politics and price volatility


One of the biggest advantages of solar energy is the ability to avoid the politics and price volatility that is increasingly characterizing fossil fuel markets.The sun is an unlimited commodity that can be adequately sourced from many locations, meaning solar avoids the price manipulations and politics that have more than doubled the price of many fossil fuels in the past decade. While the price of fossil fuels have increased, the per watt price of solar energy production has more than halved in the past decade and is set to become even cheaper in the near future as better technology and economies of scale take effect.Furthermore, the ever-abundant nature of the suns energy would hint at a democratic and competitive energy market where wars arent fought over oil fields and high-demand raw materials arent controlled by monopolies. Of course, a new form of politics has emerged with regard to government incentives and the adoption of solar, however these politics are arguably incomparable to the fossil fuel status quo.

Saving eco-systems and livelihoods


Because solar doesnt rely on constantly mining raw materials, it doesnt result in the destruction of forests and eco-systems that occurs with most fossil fuel operations.Destruction can come in many forms, from destruction through accepted extraction methods, to more irresponsible practices in vulnerable areas, to accidents.Major examples include Canadas tar sands mining which involves the systematic destruction of the Boreal Forest (which accounts for 25% of the worlds intact forest land), and creates toxic by-product ponds large enough to see from space .
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The Niger Delta is an example where excessive and irresponsible oil extraction practices have poisoned fishing deltas previously used by villagers as the main source of food and employment, creating extremely desperate poverty and essentially decimating villages .A more widely known, but arguably lower human-cost incident is the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed 11 people and spilled 780 thousand cubic meters of crude oil into the sea.

The best is yet to come


Solar technology is currently improving in leaps and bounds. Across the world, and particularly in Europe, savvy clean technology researchers are making enormous developments in solar technology.What was expensive, bulky, and inefficient yesterday, is becoming cheaper, more accessible, and vastly more efficient each week.

Disadvantages of Conventional Solar Panels: Solar doesnt work at night


Obviously the biggest disadvantages of solar energy production revolve around the fact that its not constant. To produce solar electricity there must be sunlight. So energy must be stored or sourced elsewhere at night. Beyond daily fluctuations, solar production decreases over winter months when there are less sunlight hours and sun radiation is less intense.

Solar Inefficiency
A very common criticism is that solar energy production is relatively inefficient.Currently, widespread solar panel efficiency how much of the suns energy a solar panel can convert into electrical energy is at around 22%. This means that a fairly vast amount of surface area is required to produce a lot of electricity.However, efficiency has developed dramatically over the last five years, and solar panel efficiency should continue to rise steadily over the next five years.For the moment though, low efficiency is a relevant disadvantage of solar. Solar inefficiency is an interesting argument, as efficiency is relative. One could ask inefficient compared to what? And What determines efficiency? Solar panels currently only have a radiation efficiency of up to 22%, however they dont create the carbon by-product that coal produces and doesnt require constant extraction, refinement, and transportation all of which surely carry weight on efficiency scales.

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Storing Solar
Solar electricity storage technology has not reached its potential yet.While there are many solar drip feed batteries available, these are currently costly and bulky, and more appropriate to small scale home solar panels than large solar farms.

Solar panels are bulky


Solar panels are bulky. This is particularly true of the higher-efficiency, traditional silicon crystalline wafer solar modules. These are the large solar panels that are covered in glass.New technology thin-film solar modules are much less bulky, and have recently been developed as applications such as solar roof tiles and amorphous flexible solar modules. The downfall is that thin-film is currently less efficient than crystalline wafer solar.

One of the biggest disadvantages of solar energy COST


The main hindrance to solar energy going widespread is the cost of installing solar panels. Capital costs for installing a home solar system or building a solar farm are high.Particularly obstructive is the fact that installing solar panels has large upfront costs after which the energy trickles in for free.

Imagine having to pay upfront today for your next 30 years worth of power.Thats an incredibly disadvantageous feature of solar energy production, particularly during a time of recession. Currently a mega watt hour of solar energy costs well over double a mega watt hour of conventional electricity (exact costs vary dramatically depending on location).All is not lost though nuclear is a good example (economically) of energy production that was initially incredibly expensive, but became more feasible when appropriate energy subsidies were put in place.

Transparent Solar Panels


Over the past few years, the U.S. has already become a growing player in the solar energy industry, with states like New Jersey and California seeing solar panels cropping up on rooftops from houses to warehouses.Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles are hoping to bring this revolutionary new power source down off the roofs specifically to where people will not see them - windows.

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Seeing through solar


The UCLA group, led by professor of materials science and engineering Yang Yang, has further developed a new breed of solar technology known as polymer solar cells, which rely on complex large molecules to absorb light and transform it into an electrical charge.Polymer solar cells offer a variety of interesting potential advantages over traditional crystalline silicon solar cells, or even thin-film solar cells made from elements like gallium or amorphous silicon. Chief among these advantages is that polymers, a broad category of molecules that encompasses plastics and a range of other natural and synthetic substances, can be specifically tailored to target certain attractive traits.In general, this has meant creating lighter-weight, more flexible solar cells than the heavy, rigid crystalline silicon allows. But Yang's team also focused on creating polymers that would pointedly target infrared light instead of the visible spectrum that gets absorbed by most traditional solar panels. What resulted was a thin film that incorporates transparent polymers capable of absorbing entirely invisible parts of sunlight along with a mesh of fine silver nanowire that serves as the one electrode for the device and a layer of titanium dioxide as another. According to Bloomberg, these wires are only around 0.1 micrometers thick.

Spreading solar as far as possible


This new type of solar cell offers a wide range of interesting possibilities for the future of solar power, highlighted first and foremost by the idea that every building could be designed with south-facing windows that would absorb some amount of electricity without impeding peoples' views. If the process were made cheap or ubiquitous enough, such windows could conceivably be installed throughout a building, absorbing infrared from the surrounding landscape.These types of applications would not necessarily require huge renovations either, simply requiring owners to apply the film on top of the existing glass window. "Its my dream that everyones window can be a solar panel in the future," Yang told Bloomberg. "It could be potentially very cheap." However, windows are not the only possible application for this technology. Transparent solar cells could also be applied to all sorts of consumer electronics, helping to recharge batteries with wasted energy from the backlight even as the devices are in use. "These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications," said Yang.

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Improving cost-benefit picture


One of the biggest knocks against solar power is that it is generally not cost-effective at current electricity prices, but that picture has been steadily improving as the technology improves and efficiencies rise.By emphasizing making these solar cells transparent, the UCLA team took a step back on efficiency going from between 10 and 20 percent for most on-market technologies, depending on which technology customers choose, to around 4 percent. However, the group has already tested similar technologies that could bring that number as high as 11 percent, in the range currently on the market. Yang told Bloomberg he hopes to eventually reach a cost of between $10 and $15 per window, with even cheaper spray-on applications possible for large-scale manufacturing.

ExtremelyThin
The polymer molecules which are in the plastic solar cell, makes that the sunlight is converted into electricity. They form an extremely thin layer, as thick as one out of ten thousand parts of a millimetre. This layer of polymer can only convert a small part of the color spectrum, for instance blue light, into energy. That's why Hadipour has tried to make solar cells wich are made of two layers; a layer which can absorb blue light, and on top of it a layer which can absorb another color of the spectrum, for example red light. This makes the profit of the solar cell
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Transparent Solar Panels

Seminar Report

higher. The piling up of the plastic solar cells is an esay thing to say, because you have to find a way to keep the layers separately. Still Hadipour succeeded eventually, by using a special separation layer. He has been one of the first researchers in the world who succeeded in making such a'polymer tandem solar cell'.

SolarCellAsAWindow:
Hadipour has also been working on a transparent solar cell. A normal solar cell contains a thin layer which reflects the light and increase the light absorption, but you can't look through it. Hadipour looked for a transparent material that still absorbs enough light. Eventually he found a fluorescing material which is capable of capturing the light, so you can use the solar cell as a window. Large offices with a lot of windows could generate a lot of energy thanks to this kind of solarcells.

Rapid
According to Hadipour, the possibilities of plastic solar cells are endlessly. Plastic solar cells are light and flexible. We can make them in all kinds of sizes and forms and in different colors. You can attach them to you coat for instance, so that you can recharge you mp3 player with solar energy. We could also combine solar cells with a LED (Light Emitting-Diode). Then you can generate energy during the day and shine during the night.' Hadipour estimates that the first plastic solar cells will appear on the market within two years. The developement has now com into a rapid.

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Transparent Solar Panels

Seminar Report

New Energys solution is unique to our SolarWindow coatings, which:

Make use of the worlds smallest functional organic solar cells, which measure less than the size of a grain of rice, and have been shown to successfully produce electricity in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics; Are sprayed on to see-through glass using a novel, patent-pending process presented in AZoNanos (peer-reviewed, Journal of Nanotechnology Online; Dec. 20, 2009), Nanotechnology Thought Leaders series; Do not require expensive high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods, but rather, can be sprayed on to glass at room temperature; Generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources, outperforming todays commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold; and Measure less than 1/10th the thickness of thin films (only 1/1000th the thickness of human hair).
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Transparent Solar Panels

Seminar Report

Our SolarWindow technology capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows is under development for potential application in the estimated 5 million commercial buildings in America (Energy Information Administration) and more than 80 million single detached homes.

First Of Its Kind Organic Solar Array:


Our SolarWindow technology utilizes an organic solar array composed of a series of ultrasmall solar cells measuring less than the size of a grain of rice each. They are fabricated using environmentally-friendly hydrogen-carbon based materials, and successfully produce electricity, as demonstrated in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics. New Energys organic solar array has:

The same desirable electrical properties as silicon, yet boasts a considerably better capacity to optically absorb photons from light to generate electricity, and achieves transparency through the innovative use of conducting polymers; Superior optical absorption properties inherent to New Energys ultra-small solar cells, enabling development of an ultra-thin film, only 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair, or 1/10th of a micrometer; and A key advantage over conventional thin films which are exponentially thicker, measuring several micrometers thick, thus inhibiting transparency.

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Transparent Solar Panels

Seminar Report

Conclusion
The need for energy is growing. Therefore solar energy is a hot item the last few years. Solar panels made of silicons are however still quite expensive. In Groningen researchers are working on the developement of of a cheaper solar cell which can be made of plastic. AfshinHadipour found a way to make semi-transparent solar cells made of plastic which can function as a window at the samen time. Moreover he developed a way to increase the effectiveness of the plastic solar cells. This technology can be a breakthrough in terms of generating electricity from renewable sources of energy and can be a future of electricity generation.

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