At Last: Non-Toxic, Cheap Thin-Film Solar Cells for ‘Zero Energy’ Buildings

May 25, 2016 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

Until now, the promise of ‘zero-energy’ buildings been held back by two hurdles: the cost of the thin-film solar cells (used in façades, roofs and windows), and the fact they’re made from scarce, and highly toxic, materials.

That’s about to change: the UNSW team, led by Dr Xiaojing Hao of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, have achieved the world’s highest efficiency rating for a full-sized thin-film solar cell using a competing thin-film technology, known as CZTS.

NREL, the USA’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, confirmed this world leading 7.6% efficiency in a 1cm2 area CZTS cell this month.

Unlike its thin-film competitors, CZTS cells are made from abundant materials: copper, zinc, tin and sulphur.

Read At Last: Non-Toxic, Cheap Thin-Film Solar Cells for ‘Zero Energy’ Buildings at the University of New South Wales.

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Entry filed under: Energy, Renewables.

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