Aalborg University research focuses on cheaper solar cells  

2009.10.12
A new project will research into how thin-film silicon solar cell technology can be used to make solar power cheaper and more energy-efficient
It is estimated that global energy demand today is around 13 terawatts (13 billion watts). But that figure is set to rise rapidly and by the end of this century it is likely to be 50 terawatts (50 billion watts). Experts consider that the only practical way this can be achieved in a sustainable way is by exploiting the energy from the sun. But solar power has a major drawback at present – the cost per watt is far too high to be competitive with conventional power sources.
 
The cost of solar power must be brought down, and that will mean solving a number of fundamental problems regarding materials used in solar cells, and energy conversion efficiency. These areas will be addressed by a new project at Aalborg University, sponsored by the Villum Kann Rasmussen Fund which according to a press release from the university will provide DKK 12m (approx. USD 2.4m) in funding over the next 4 years. The research and development will focus on thin-film silicon solar cell technology.
 
"There are many good arguments for concentrating on silicon, and we will examine how nanoparticles can be employed to increase light absorption by silicon," says Kjeld Pedersen from the Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology at Aalborg University. He points out that the institute has considerable experience in calculating the light scattering and optical characteristics of nanostructures that can benefit the project.
 
The Aalborg University research team will also be collaborating with the Institute of Physics & Astronomy, and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center at Aarhus University.

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