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PV can help environment by offsetting need to rely on electricity generated from burning of fossil fuels. Two distinct systems now entering PV market are based on use of cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS) materials in solar cells. The team at Sheffield Hallam University has increased our understanding of PV by showing how solar cells based on CdTe and CIGS structures work. Lack of knowledge in this area, combined with cost, has hindered widespread take-up of technology. Now team has opened up prospect of new solar cells being developed commercially with higher conversion efficiencies than those currently available.
Dr I. M. Dharmadasa, who led research team says: 'We've already applied for two patents and are preparing final draft of third patent in connection with our work, but there's a lot more science to be explored that could increase conversion efficiencies to over 20% in near future'.
The research initiative, Low-cost, High-efficiency Thin-film Solar Cells with Electrodeposited Semiconductors, has received initial total Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funding of £104,632 and follow-up Sheffield Hallam University funding of £140,000. EPSRC is UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences and invests more than £400 million a year in research and postgraduate training to help nation handle next generation of technological change.
With affordable energy provision remaining one of world's most urgent needs, advances being made in this area offer real hope for a future in which energy supplies are more widely available without drawback of environmental damage.
For more information, contact: Dr I M Dharmadasa, School of Science & Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University, Tel: 0114 225 4067, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.shu.ac.uk/schools/sci eaching/as1/SCResearch.html EPSRC: www.epsrc.ac.uk/ Jane Reck, EPSRC Press Officer, Tel: 01793 444312, E-mail: email@example.com.
The author is a British writer resident in France. She specializes in development and environment issues and writes about the EU. Find out more at www.worldsapartreview.com