International Business Machines, the world’s leading enterprise software vendor, has developed a groundbreaking technology that provides with a less costly way of manufacturing energy-efficient solar cells.
The researchers over at IBM research labs have developed a set of cost and energy effective prototype photovoltaic cells, made from commonly available materials that are designed to convert power more efficiently than the commercially available solar cells, which are made from rarer, expensive materials.
Commenting on the energy efficiency on the newly developed solar cells, David Mitzi, who leads the research team at IBM Research., said in a statement that “You can create on a simple substrate many cells in series, so this is a very valuable approach for making lower-cost and larger-area arrays.”
Power conversion efficiency of solar cells is defined as the percentage at which solar cells convert sun’s energy into electricity. According to scientists working in IBM Research, the newly developed prototype generated the power conversion efficiency of 9.6 percent, a 40 percent gain in efficiency from solar cells built by other manufacturers who use similar materials.
IBM incidentally has developed the energy-efficient solar cell prototype by using cheap raw materials that are easily available including copper, tin, zinc, and sulfur or selenium, making it a cheap and efficient alternative to those solar cells which are expensive and are ironically less energy efficient.
As the biggest generator of patents in the world, Big Blue has fingers in many pies. Solar energy holds some serious opportunities and the US seems to be determined to look for alternative sources of energy before oil reserves run out.