Scientists from South Korea have made ultra-thin photovoltaics flexible enough to wrap around the average pencil. The bendy solar cells could power wearable electronics like fitness trackers and smart glasses. Thin materials flex more easily than thick ones – think a piece of paper versus a cardboard shipping box. The reason for the difference: The stress in a material while it is being bent increases farther out from the central plane. Because thick sheets have more material farther out, they are harder to bend.
Solliance, a partnership of R&D organisations from The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany working in thin film photovoltaic solar energy, has announced that the Japanese Panasonic Corporation has joined one of its research programmes. The project concerns the development of roll-to-roll manufacturing processes aimed at large-scale production of flexible perovskite solar cells.
First Solar, Inc., a global provider of PV solar systems based in Tempe (AZ), USA, has announced that it has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic module conversion efficiency, achieving 18.6% aperture efficiency for an advanced full size module. For the first time ever, First Solar has demonstrated a record module that is more efficient than the best multi-crystalline module recorded.