Yesterday I blogged about a new solar energy process that might supplant photovoltaics, at least in large-scale desert installations because of dramatically increased efficiency. Today it’s a breakthrough with photovoltaic solar cells in regards to production cost. I like seeing all this innovation is the solar space, especially since it’s a bit all over the map. Incremental improvement is always nice, but anytime research is going after all sorts of targets the odds of a major breakthrough go up.
From the second link:
One of the most promising technologies for making inexpensive but reasonably efficient solar photovoltaic cells just got much cheaper. Scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada have shown that inexpensive nickel can work just as well as gold for one of the critical electrical contacts that gather the electrical current produced by their colloidal quantum dot solar cells.
The change to nickel can reduce the cell’s already low material costs by 40 to 80 percent, says Lukasz Brzozowski, the director of the Photovoltaics Research Program in Professor Ted Sargent’s group. They present their research in the July 12, 2010 issue of Applied Physics Letters.