MIT - Work for even more efficient panel production in the future

The momentum that now exists in the renewable sector is able to drive on increasing evolution of system and designs and here is an example of that - a panel design that could save significantly.  All this takes time though and it is vital that the world has a vibrant industry to support this innovation.  Let's hope those politicians and policy adviser can realise that although the pace of change is constantly evolving and in the right direction - ''Rome was not built in a day''

A team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found a new approach that could reduce the thickness of the silicon used by more than 90% while still maintaining high efficiency.

The amount of silicon potentially makes a big difference in the cost of solar cell production

Graduate student Matthew Branham, a co-author of the paper stated: "If you can dramatically cut the amount of silicon [in a solar cell] … you can potentially make a big difference in the cost of production. The problem is, when you make it very thin, it doesn't absorb light as well."

The expectation is that the new approach should produce energy-conversion efficiencies of about 20% - compared to 24% for the best current commercial silicon solar cells - but this remains to be proved in practice.