Research & Development Magazine announced that an ultra-light, highly efficient solar cell and use of ink-jet printing to manufacture thin-film photovoltaics, the production of electricity from sunlight, will be included this year’s most significant innovations.
According to its Web site, the R & D 100 Awards have been helping companies provide the important initial push a new product needs to compete successfully in the marketplace. Both technologies were developed in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the NREL has won a total of 42 of R & G’s awards, which the magazine has been presenting annually since 1969.
The new solar cell, called the Inverted Metamorphic Multi-Junction solar cell, has already set three world records for solar conversion efficiency, and the new photovoltaics are efficient enough to turn entire buildings and other structures into small, self-sustaining power plants, according to a press release from the NREL.
These two technologies are progressive steps taken toward incorporating solar energy into the everyday marketplace. Here a few articles on solar energy: