Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Panels
HP and Xtreme Energetics (XE), a solar energy system developer based in Livermore, Calif., have announced that they have entered into an agreement for the development of a solar energy system. This solar system will have an edge over existing solar technologies. Their solar energy system will generate electricity at twice the efficiency and not twice but half the cost of traditional solar panels. According to the agreement, HP will license its transparent transistor technology to XE in exchange of royalty payments.
“Blending art and science, our ultra-high efficiency solar energy systems can serve both the central utility and rooftop markets using low-cost, ecologically harmonious and architecturally inspiring designs,” said Colin P. Williams, chief executive officer, Xtreme Energetics. “Our agreement with HP allows us to bring an advanced solar energy solution to the market that is superior to other offerings currently available.”
HP and Oregon State University have developed transparent transistor technology. This technology makes use of thin film transparent transistors utilizing low cost readily available materials such as zinc and tin. These materials are environmentally safe, plentiful, easy to manufacture and have better chemical stability.
HP’s transistors will create a tracking system that directs the sunlight straightaway to XE’s solar concentrators. This will maximize the concentration of sunlight or double the conversion efficiency of traditional silicon solar panels. XE can also avoid the use of mechanical tracking devices which invites high maintenance costs.
The transparent electronics, not only prevents light from being blocked as with conventional systems, it also allows for a greater degree of aesthetic appeal by enabling the placement of artistic patterns on the arrays; this makes it possible for them to be eventually incorporated into a variety of building materials and facades. Xtreme Energetics aims to make this system available to commercial customers as well as the central utility market.