Australia — A new type of solar cell, the "Sliver Cell," using razor-thin strips of material, has the potential to revolutionize the global solar power industry by dramatically reducing the amount of silicon required, the most expensive part of solar technology today.
Using innovative manufacturing techniques and cells less than 70 microns thick, the process requires 90 percent less silicon, yet delivers greater efficiency than current photovoltaic cells, and cuts the costs of production up to 60–80 percent…
Development began on the solar technology several years ago at the Australian National University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems with millions of dollars in grants from Australia’s energy giant, Origin Energy. Origin intends to commercialize the technology and has invested over $30 million, including constructing a pilot manufacturing plant in Adelaide, South Australia.
The new cells are flexible enough to allow use on things like clothing and airplanes, and thin enough to be used on windows. Australians can expect, during the coming summers, the air conditioners in their homes and city buildings to be powered by solar panels.
The innovation is expected to have a major influence on future energy production worldwide and should be in widespread use, at least in Australia, within 2–3 years.
Thanks to Australian GNN reader, Kay Lenton, for the good news about solar power!