Weekly Tech Roundup | May 10, 2019

Weekly tech roundup: solar technology edition

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This week’s tech roundup features solar technologies that are available to license, develop, and introduce into the solar industry.

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Scroll down for the full roundup:

Imprinting surfaces with carbon nanotubes for solar cell applications

Navy scientists have developed a process to imprint films with nanoparticles. The process may have application for the further development of organic solar cells as it can yield nano-structured electron and hole collecting interfaces.

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Pan & tilt mount for a solar reflector

In order to lower costs and increase the efficiency of solar concentration installations, Navy scientists have devised a T-shaped torque coupler support for the mounting of reflectors and mirrors. The simple torque coupler and support permit mirrors or other reflectors in a solar energy collector to be mounted on the horizontal ends of the T to rotate vertically around 360°.

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Emitter-less, back-surface, alternating-contact solar cell

Navy researchers have developed a gallium arsenide (GaAs) based solar cell, with an optimized layer structure and doping concentrations, for back-surface contact operation. The surface-state density of GaAs is much larger than silicon, and the material is more resistant to damaging radiation.

This new approach produces significant improvements in solar cell design such as lower operating temperatures in a given environment. These advantages make the cell easier and cheaper to manufacture.

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News Article Image of Weekly tech roundup: solar technology edition

Two tents with photovoltaic panels on the flys are awaiting final touches with sensors for testing. Since the tents already use flys as shade, researchers placed the photovoltaic panels on some of the flys to harness the sun's energy and actually generate energy which can be channeled back into the power grid. The panels can generate about a megawatt of power for a full base.

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher A. Campbell

Flexible solar cells

Navy researchers have developed organic photovoltaic materials with tunable energy levels, improved oxidation stability, thermal stabilities, solubility, and processability. Flexible and stretchable photovoltaic devices will enable wider use of solar power.

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Enhanced Solar Cells

Navy researchers have developed a new technology for increasing the efficiency and durability of solar cells by enhancing and trapping light absorbance. New portable power could include extending the range of electric powered drones or power for distributed sensors (security cameras), etc.

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Back surface alternating contacts solar cell

Navy researchers have advanced GaAs solar cells by the placement of all electrical contacts on the back surface of the solar cell. This improves both the optical and electrical performance of the solar cell since shading is eliminated and robust electrical contacts may be used to decrease serial resistance.

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Improved roll-to-roll manufacturing of perovskite thin-film solar cells

Air Force researchers have developed a process to make uniform thin films with micron-size perovskite grains by using a controlled amount of metal ions in a precursor solution. The low-temperature process can be used to create a multi-layer perovskite structure.

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Headshot Image of Austin Leach, PhD, CLP

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