CleanTech OC Daily - 5/31/12

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sharp Hits Concentrator Solar Cell Efficiency Record, 43.5%
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy  has confirmed that Sharp has developed solar cells that have a 43.5% efficiency from a triple-junction compound solar cell. To achieve this new record for efficiency, two improvements were made - “[optimizing] the spacing between electrodes on the surface of the concentrator cell and [minimizing] the cell’s electrical resistance.” The solar cells capture sunlight via three photo-absorption layers and then convert it into electricity.

While known for their addiction to fossil fuels, the Middle East is positioning itself for being a hot spot for renewable energy development, especially solar. The Saudi government recently announced a plan to install 41 GW of solar systems by 2032 - they also want to add wind, geothermal, nuclear and other sources. A recent report by PwC found that solar electricity is an economical choice for the region because they rely on expensive oil and natural gas to produce electricity.

Water and utility companies often use smart water sensors and monitoring devices to identify leaks and abnormal water flow – but an common problem is efficiently powering these devices, typically powered by electricity and batteries. A new innovation in microgenerators from HydroSprin, an Israeli startup, may be able to power those remote monitoring systems with energy generated from the water in the pipes themselves.

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