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Ruheya Remtulla-Langlois

on 5 January 2015

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Ruheya Remtulla-Langlois
Image courtesy NCAR
What even are photons?
Solar Cell
Which elements?
Special structures for special elements
let's talk about those electrons
Band Gap
Why is silicone the celebrity among semiconductors though?
easy to use
What are they doing?
Held in place by covalent bonds
What happens when you heat them up?
energy states defined
Photons and Semiconductors
grand total of 3 types of PV solar panels to choose from
Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel
Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Solar Panel

Amorphous Silicon "Thin Film" Photovoltaic Solar Panel

The Good and The Current Speed Bumps

1. Renewable
2. Abundant
3. Sustainable
4. Environmentally Friendly
5. Good Availability
6. Reduces Electricity Costs
7. Many Applications
8. Shared Solar
9. Silent
10. Financial Support from Government/State
11. Low Maintenance
12. Technology is Improving

1. Expensive
2. Intermittent
3. Energy Storage is Expensive
4. Associated with Pollution
5. Exotic Materials
6. Requires Space

Exotic Materials
Environmentally friendly
Creates very little pollution!!
REDUCES electricity costs
Many applications
are able to be used in areas that are off the grid and power places like Africa
Energy storage is expensive
The Future for Solar Panel Technology
requires space
unable to move or change energies
remain surrounding the area of the atoms
Electrons escape from their bonds
Which means they are free to move around and participate in conduction
High energy state:
electron gained enough energy to participate in conduction
Low energy state:
electron is bound
A band gap is the minimum energy required for each individual semiconductor to excite a stuck electron to remove it from it's bond state into a free state
doping is a technique used to increase the efficiency of semiconductors
When photons reach the surface of a semiconductor, it will...
Bounce off
Go through the material
Be absorbed
But how it be clear?
It's not actually a clear PV panel!
Michigan State researchers developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator
How does it work?
witchcraft? No!
They used "organic salts that absorb specific non-visible wave lenghts of ultra violet and infrared light" in which they then luminesce into infrared wave lenghts that travel to the edges of the panel that have thin strips of conventional photovoltaic solar cell that convert it into electricity
let's pretend these are stairs

Never ending source of energy!
At least until the sun blows up
Full transcript