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Thursday, June 26, 2014

High Efficiency Solar cells _ Semprius

      The above solar panel by Semprius has an efficiency of about 43.9% the Semprius solar cells are multi junction solar cells ie four cells stacked one over the other each one absorbs the different band of light frequency. This is the reason why such a high efficiency of close to 50% has been achieved , however the four junction solar cells are expensive but semprius has got around this problem by concentrating the sunlight on the by as much as 1100 suns. Each cell is said to be as small as the tip of a pencil. This also reduces the the amount of cells needed by a factor of 1100.

           The combination of such high efficiency cells with high level of sunlight concentration will drive down the costs of solar electricity by a huge amount in the next few years ,as shown in the picture above the concentrator glasses are inexpensive certainly  cost much less than solar cells. So one can imagine even if these multijunction cells are even 20 times more expensive than conventional solar cells, the fact that the solar energy is concentrated by a factor of 1100 makes the cost of solar panel at least 30 to 40 times cheaper even if the price of the concentrator glass array ,tracker and the control system(that keeps it aligned with the direction of the sun)  is taken into account . 

          Hopefully in the near future such panels are on every terrace in countries with high sunshine like India. This would save usage of fossil fuel worth billions of dollars , also when electricity becomes so cheap use of electric cars ,electric motorcycles and electric scooters will increase thus oil and natural gas worth billions of dollars need not be imported and it would reduce pollution.

If every vehicle in India runs on electricity generated from the sun India will become rich. Every year the amount of money India spends on importing petroleum is $ 160 bn this bill would be reduced by a big amount . Again the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases produced by the combustion of such fuels will reduce significantly thus lowering pollution.

The total electricity production in India last year was 1102 Tera Watt hours approximately Rs 500000 cr worth electricity. Using solar panels like these we can reduce the the need of coal and natural gas fired power stations thus saving the nation billions of dollars worth money.

In large parts of India especially rural and the semi urban areas the quality of electricity is either very bad or there is no electricity at all  in spite of having the perennial source of energy --sun almost 365 days every year , every year the world is blessed with trillions of dollars worth energy from the sun , only now we are learning to tap into this infinite source of energy in an economical fashion and looking into the future solar energy will be far more cheaper than fossil fuel powered energy. The fossil fuel powered energy was simply an intermediate stage ultimately man will use sun to get all the energy he needs .



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