American institute of physics displays us more effective Selenium photo voltaic cells

by Rosalind Sanders

Did you know that many scientists would like to discover light-catching materials in order to transform more of the sun's power into carbon-free electrical power?

A new study described in the magazine Applied Physics Letters in August this year (released by the American Institute of Physics), explains how solar energy could potentially be collected by using oxide elements that include the element selenium. A team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, inserted selenium in zinc oxide, a relatively affordable substance that could make more effective use of the sun's power.

The team discovered that even a relatively small quantity of selenium, just nine % of the mostly zinc-oxide base, significantly increased the material's effectiveness in absorbing light.

The primary author of this study, Marie Mayer (a 4th-year College of California, Berkeley doctoral student) states that photo-electrochemical water splitting, that signifies employing power from the sun to cleave water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, could possibly be the most fascinating future application for her efforts. Utilizing this reaction is key to the eventual creation of zero-emission hydrogen powered automobiles, which hypothetically will run only on water and sunlight.

Journal Research: Marie A. Mayer et all. Applied Physics Letters, 2010 link:

The conversion effectiveness of a PV cell is the percentage of sunlight energy that the photo voltaic cell converts to electricity. This is very important when discussing Photo voltaic products, because enhancing this efficiency is vital to making Photo voltaic power competitive with more conventional sources of energy (e.g., non-renewable fuels).

For comparison, the very first Photo voltaic products converted about 1%-2% of sunlight power into electrical energy. Today's Photo voltaic products convert 7%-17% of light energy into electrical power. Of course, the other side of the equation is the dollars it costs to produce the PV devices. This has been enhanced over the decades as well. In fact, today's PV systems generate electricity at a fraction of the cost of first PV systems.

In the 1990s, when silicon cells were two times as thick, efficiencies were much smaller than these days and lifetimes were reduced, it may well have cost more energy to create a cell than it could generate in a lifetime. In the meantime, the technological know-how has developed considerably, and the energy repayment time (defined as the recovery time needed for generating the energy spent to produce the respective technical energy systems) of a modern photovoltaic module is usually from 1 to 4 years depending on the module type and location.

Usually, thin-film technologies - despite having relatively low conversion efficiencies - obtain considerably shorter energy repayment times than traditional systems (often < 1 year). With a common lifetime of 20 to 30 years, this signifies that contemporary photo voltaic cells are net energy producers, i.e. they produce significantly more energy over their lifetime than the energy expended in producing them.

About the writer - Rosalind Sanders publishes articles for the swiming pool solar covers blog, her personal hobby weblog focused on recommendations to help home owners to spend less energy with solar energy.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to My Story.

Your "Like" & "Vote" would really be appreciated.

Join the HJE Healing Community!

This website is for you and others like you who have a desire to be a part of the natural way to heal.

I am sure you too have found a lot of valuable insights into energy healing and by sharing our knowledge we get to help one another.

This web site is a collation of my knowledge spread over more than 400 pages but I know that there is a lot more information and success stories out there and I would just love to hear about them.

I'd love to receive any articles, photos, stories, reviews, or other content you'd like to share.

Share Your Energy Healing Experience by submitting it right here on this site, then site visitors can read, rate, and comment about it. See an example of how this works with an interesting story of what happend to me about perfection.

You can also share or comment on any page of this website, just see the "Share this page" and "Leave a Comment" options at the very bottom!

Please join me as we develop and grow this fun Healing Community.

There's also an active group of fans on my Healing Journeys Energy Facebook Page so come join the conversation, we'd love to have you with us!

I recently started a Pinterest page with tons of boards to follow!

My Google+ Page is starting to pickup in popularity too, so if you're a G+ fan head on over there and join us!

Of course I am available on Twitter and would love to see your tweets!

Follow HJE Healing Acadamy



Follow Healing
Also Exclusive Access to a whole lot of Free Healing Tools/Books and More...
Subscribe Now!
E-mail Address
First Name

Your e-mail address is sacred.
I promise to use it only to send you WOW - Words of Wisdom.


Search Healing Journeys


[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines


Your kind donations will keep this Free Website and its related Newsletter going & growing...