IBM working toward cheap solar cells
Posted on 16 Jun 2008 at 14:17
IBM has joined forces with semiconductor process company Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK) to develop cheaper and more efficient solar power technologies.
The partnership will focus on developing new methods for printing copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) cells that can turn more than 15% of sunlight into power, a significant improvement on the 6% to 12% efficiency that current (CIGS) solar cells have achieved.
Currently, an estimated 90% of photovoltaic solar equipment uses silicon to turn sunlight into electricity. That technology is more efficient than CIGS, often converting more than 20% of sunlight into power. But those cells are much thicker than thin-film applications, limiting how they can be deployed, and they rely on silicon, which has skyrocketed in price in recent years as the solar industry gobbled up limited supplies.
IBM says it will contribute its expertise in manufacturing cells, while TOK will provide technology used in the semiconductor industry and for coating LCD panels. The companies declined to specify the companies' projected sales from the technology, but described the potential market as "huge."
The companies say the goal of the partnership is to create a process for making the cells cheaply enough that they reach "grid parity," the level in which solar power is competitive with traditional forms of electricity generation.
"I think that if we can get to a module cost of less than $1 per watt, and be able to keep a handle on the system costs, then one should be able to get to grid parity ... photovoltaics still need roughly a two (time efficiency) improvement. We strongly feel that we have a shot."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
- Windows 8.2: release date, features and free cloud version
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- iPhone 6 release date, rumours, specs and features: when will the iPhone 6 come out in the UK?
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- Amazon posts another loss - its biggest since 2012
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?