Boosting the Performance of See-Through Solar Cells
New Energy Technologies, Inc., developer of see-through solar cells for generating electricity on glass windows, recently announced that researchers have successfully achieved faster fabrication time, improved transparency, and a two-fold increase in power conversion efficiency. Researchers achieved the advances by way of a novel, patent-pending breakthrough, which enables fabrication of large-scale mini-module SolarWindow devices, important to commercial deployment of the world's first-of-its-kind glass window capable of generating electricity.
Generating electricity on glass windows is possible when New Energy researchers spray ultra-small, see-through solar cells on to glass surfaces. These novel spray-on techniques have been pioneered, advanced, and unveiled in operating prototypes by scientists who initiated early research efforts with New Energy Technologies under a Sponsored Research Agreement at the University of South Florida (USF). The Company's SolarWindow technology has since progressed significantly beyond early research, and is now in advanced product development.
Related Story: No Limits, Total Abundance: Transparent Solar Windows
Meanwhile, these announcement are the outcome of spray-related improvements achieved during the completion phase of New Energy's early Sponsored Research at USF, led by Dr. Xiaomei Jiang. Researchers report that these latest spray-on techniques have successfully:
· Boosted power conversion efficiency of each individual cell by two-fold compared to previous fabrication methods, leading to overall power output improvement of SolarWindow;
· Reduced fabrication time from several days down to only a few hours, or 1/6th of the time normally required;
· Improved the transparency or visual light transmission of SolarWindow modules, creating a widow tint effect; and
· Achieved an aesthetically attractive, uniform coating on to glass important to consumer appeal.
Specifically, these performance improvements result from spray advancements which control fabrication of various layers of coatings on glass; collectively, these layers make up the architecture of SolarWindow modules. Among other functions, the various layers allow the glass to absorb the sun's energy, generate electricity, and direct the electricity for collection and use.
Researchers are hopeful that this breakthrough in mini-module spray-on device fabrication leads to improved spray-on techniques for large-scale devices, a precursor to the Company's product for commercial launch.
This latest breakthrough is an exciting testament to our ongoing efforts as we continuously work to improve the quality and performance of our SolarWindow mini-modules, explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. Moving forward, we remain devoutly focused on producing large surface area prototypes which are compatible with high-speed production methods, important to commercialization of SolarWindow.
Currently under development for eventual commercial deployment in the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in America, SolarWindow technology is the subject of fourteen (14) patent filings and is the world's first-of-its-kind technology capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows.
SolarWindow is a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology. BIPV products are expected to achieve compound annualized growth of 41%-plus through 2016, according to Pike Research.
About New Energy Technologies, Inc.
New Energy Technologies, Inc., together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a developer of next generation alternative and renewable energy technologies. Among the Company's technologies under development are:
MotionPower roadway systems for generating electricity by capturing the kinetic energy produced by moving vehicles a patent-pending technology, the subject of 45 US and International patent applications. An estimated 250 million registered vehicles drive more than six billion miles on America's roadways, every day; and
SolarWindow technologies, which enable see-through windows to generate electricity by spraying their glass surfaces with New Energy's electricity-generating coatings the subject of 14 patent applications. These solar coatings are less than 1/10th the thickness of thin films and make use of the world's smallest functional solar cells, shown to successfully produce electricity in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.
Through established relationships with universities, research institutions, and commercial partners, we strive to identify technologies and business opportunities on the leading edge of renewable energy innovation. Unique to our business model is the use of established research infrastructure owned by the various institutions we deal with, saving us significant capital which would otherwise be required for such costs as land and building acquisition, equipment and capital equipment purchases, and other start-up expenses. As a result, we are able to benefit from leading edge research while employing significantly less capital than conventional organizations.
SOURCE: New Energy Technologies Inc.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission.
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.
The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture.
It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.
The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020.
Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.
The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.
While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.
Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse.
"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.
“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets.
Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.
Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."
McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:
- Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
- Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
- Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
- Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
- The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere