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Making Solar Batteries Cheaper and More Effective
July 27, 2011 10:02

Solar batteries become more and more widely used in common life, and photovoltaics (photoelectric transformation of solar energy) is claimed to be one of most promising fields of renewable energy. Russian researchers know how to make these batteries cheaper and more effective.

Solar batteries have many positive sides, however, they are still quite expensive due to high price of their main component – monocrystalline silicon. Russian physicists do their best to make these batteries cost less and have higher efficiency at the same time.

Efficiency coefficient of nano-heterostructured cascade transformers of light, developed by Russian scientists, is 36%, which means one new battery is equal to two or three old silicon-based ones. Higher efficiency of new light transformers comes from solar light separation to several spectral ranges, as well as more effective transformation of photon energy in each spectral range
. Three-stage light transformers have three photoactive components, which in their turn, consist of three semiconducting plates, made of following alloys: GaInP, Ga(In)As and Ge.

These semiconducting plates
transform light from shortwave, medium wave and long wave spectral ranges into energy, respectively. Increasing number of stages may result in enhancing efficiency from 36% to 45-50%, however, production of such multi-stage elements is a quite complicated process.

Modules for solar batteries, developed in
Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology contained light transformers, which were described above. These transformers are installed on heat-removing substrates on focal distance from tiny lenses, which provide 1000-fold concentration of solar radiation. Such an innovation helps reduce not only size of active surface in solar batteries, but even their price.

Batteries, developed by Russian researchers, contain abovementioned modules, installed step-by-step on a mixed (electronic and mechanical) control system, which also contains a sensor for detecting Sun’s position. This sensor keeps batteries oriented towards the Sun, thus helps collect solar radiation better, compared to immovable batteries. Motion also reduces wind loads on batteries
. As for own energy needs, new batteries use as little as 0.1% of generated energy for this purpose.

A nice example for you to better understand, what we were talking about – one kilogram of semiconductors, used as components for new solar batteries, generates in 25 years the same amount of energy as 5 thousand tons of oil.
Such characteristics allow significant reduction of energy costs, making them 1.5 times lower, than existing prices of energy on the world market.

The project on organizing production of these batteries was approved by the Russian government after a number of tests, which were successfully passed.
Production of promising, cheap and effective solar batteries, designed in Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, is expected to open in the city of

Science & Technologies

Anna Kizilova

Author: Anna Kizilova

Tags: solar batteries Russian academy of sciences    

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