Solar cells with one-day energy payback for the factories of the future

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

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Scalability is a requirement before any new energy source can be expected to house a possible solution to the challenge that mankind’s increasing energy demand presents. No renewable energy source is as abundant as the Sun and yet efficient and low-cost conversion of solar energy still has not been developed. We approach the challenge by firstly taking a technology that efficiently addresses the need for daily production of 1 GWp on a global level, which does not employ elements with critically low abundance and has a low thermal budget.Wethen applied life cycle assessment methodologies to direct research and developed such technology in the form of a polymer solar cell that presents a significant improvement in energy payback time (EPBT) and found that very short energy payback times on the order of one day are possible, thus potentially presenting a solution to the current energy gap of >14 TW by year 2050.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Publication date2012
Volume5
Journal number1
Pages5117-5132
ISSN1754-5692
DOIs
StatePublished

Bibliographical note

This work has been supported by the Danish Strategic Research
Council (2104-07-0022) and EUDP (j.no. 64009-0050); also by
the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Consolider-
HOPE CSD2007-00007), and by Comunidad Autonoma de la
Region de Murcia (CARM-D429-2008). Partial financial
support was also received from the European Commission as
part of the Framework 7 ICT 2009 collaborative project
HIFLEX (grant no. 248678) from the EUIndian framework of
the ‘‘Largecells’’ project that received funding from the European
Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–
2013. grant no. 261936) and from PVERA-NET (project
acronym POLYSTAR).

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