IBJNews

Purdue gets grant to develop cheaper solar cell

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Purdue University researchers are working to increase the efficiency of a new solar cell that they say could become a significant player in energy production.

A team led by chemical engineering professor Rakesh Agrawal is working with solar cells made from copper zinc tin sulfide. The compound known as CZTS is synthesized into nanocrystals that resemble a dark ink that can absorb light.

The ink is applied to specially coated glass squares, heated and applied with nanoelectronics so they can be used to turn sunlight into electricity, the Journal & Courier reported.

Graduate student Erik Sheets said the resulting solar cell is cheaper than silicon-based solar cells on the market.

Agrawal, whose lab was the first to make CZTS nanocrystals, said the focus of the work is to make the solar cell inexpensive and boost its efficiency.

The researchers have received a $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy for their work, which includes making a prototype that can be mass-produced at a low cost.

"The key aspect of our work is to make this inexpensive," Agrawal said.

Currently, the Purdue team's solar cells are one inch square and achieve only 8.4 percent efficient use of the sunlight energy. Agrawal said researchers aim to boost that to 15 percent.

To be competitive with other energy technologies, solar cells must be capable of generating terawatts, or trillions of watts, at a cost of 50 cents per peak watt of electricity, Agrawal said.

The Department of Energy predicts solar energy could provide 14 percent of U.S. electricity needs by 2030 and 27 percent by 2050 if those targets are met.

Graduate student Nathan Carter says he thinks solar power will be "a dominant player" in the nation's energy picture in coming years.

"I think we are going to move away from oil or any one (energy source) dominating 70 percent of energy consumption," Carter said. "It is going to be a much more cooperative effort between solar, wind, natural gas, biomass. But I think solar has the highest potential among any renewable energy."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Evolution takes time
    Just as with earlier "internal combustion" engines, the evolution necessary to make any energy-producing device efficient takes time, money and creativity; Edison didn't do it right until after many attempts, and even then, additional time and creativity made the light bulb more efficient and less expensive;
  • Finally a Commons Sense Approach
    Obama's administration the (US Department of Energy) Should have done this long before squandering government money to solar manufacturing corporations who were on the verge of going bankrupt.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.

ADVERTISEMENT