3-D graphene can function as an effective — and very economical — substitute for the platinum that is commonly used in dye-sensitized solar cells, according to new research from Michigan Technological University. By substituting the newly created…
Need some solar energy facts or solar power facts? This page is aimed at becoming the best go-to source on the web for solar facts… if it isn’t already. The solar facts below are succinct and organized by categories and subcategories. To help improve the page, please feel free to add any solar facts you are aware of in the comments below… or correct ours if we’ve got any wrong. If you do either of those things, just be sure to include a link to a reliable source — we want to be very careful here to check the facts before publishing them. Cool? Cool.
Solar Energy Facts / Solar Power Facts Table Of Contents
The main categories below are:
— Solar Records
- Solar Cell Efficiency Records
- Solar Module Efficiency Records
- Largest Solar Power Plants
- Solar Market Leaders
- Solar Vehicles
— Solar Policies
- Feed-in Tariffs
- Net Metering
- Value of Solar Tariffs
- Renewable Energy Standards (RES) / Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) / Renewable Obligation
- PACE Financing
- Solar Mandates
- Rebates, Tax Credits, Grants, & Loans
- More Info, More Policies?
— How Solar PV Works
— Chime In!
Now, on to the solar energy and solar power facts!!
Solar Cell Efficiency Records
- Overall world solar cell efficiency record (also the concentrator triple-junction solar cell efficiency record) — 44.7% (Fraunhofer ISE)
- Triple-junction, non-concentrator solar cell efficiency record — 37.9% (Sharp)
- Two-junction, concentrator solar cell efficiency record — 32.6% (IES–UPM)
- Two-junction solar cell conversion efficiency record under one sun of illumination — 31.1% (NREL)
- Single-junction, concentrator solar cell efficiency record — 29.1% (FhG–ISE)
- Single-junction, GaAs, thin-film crystal solar cell efficiency record — 28.8% (Alta Devices)
- Crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency record — 25.6% (Panasonic)
- Amorphous and monocrystalline silicon solar cell efficiency record — 21.4% (EPFL Institute of Microengineering)
- P-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency record — 21.4% (Trina Solar)
- Thin-film solar cell efficiency record (CdTe) — 21% (First Solar)
- CIS thin-film solar cell efficiency record — 20.9% (Solar Frontier)
- CIGS thin-film solar cell efficiency record — 20.8% (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg — ZSW)
- P-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency record — 20.5% (Trina Solar)
- Black silicon solar cell efficiency record — 18.7% (Fraunhofer ISE & Aalto University)
- CZTS solar cell efficiency record — 12.6% (Solar Frontier, IBM, & TOK)
- Single-junction microcrystalline silicon solar cell efficiency record — 10.7% (EPFL Institute of Microengineering)
- Plasmonic polymer solar cell efficiency record — 8.92% (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology)
- Graphene solar cell efficiency record — 8.6% (University of Florida)
Solar Module Efficiency Records
- Overall solar PV module efficiency record (also the CPV module efficiency record) — 36.7% (Fraunhofer ISE)
- Outdoor solar PV (and CPV) module efficiency record — 34.9% (Amonix)
- Commercial CPV module efficiency record — 31.8% (Soitec)
- Commercial solar module efficiency record — 21.5% (SunPower)
- Leading solar modules in solar module yield field tests — SunPower SPR-327NE-WHT-D modules
- Thin-film solar module aperture efficiency record — 17.4% (Q-Cells)
- Cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency record — 16.1% (First Solar)
- CIGS thin-film solar module efficiency record — 15.7% (Samsung)
- Flexible PV solar module efficiency record — 15.5% (MiaSolé)
- Monolithically integrated, commercially available CIGS module efficiency record — 13.4% (Stion) (also holds the 14.8% aperture efficiency record for such modules) and 13.4% (SoloPower)
Largest Solar Power Plants
- Largest “collection” of solar power plants: 600 MW — Gujarat Solar Park
- Largest solar power plant under construction: 579 MW — Antelope Valley Solar Project
- Largest solar PV power plant completed: 550 MW — Topaz Solar Farm
- Largest concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plant under construction: 392 MW — Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
- Largest single-unit CSP plant completed: 100 MW — Shams 1
- Largest concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant: 37 MW — Alamosa Solar Generating Project
Solar Market Leaders
- Solar Power (MW) Per Million People (End of 2012): 398.63 — Germany
- New Solar Power (MW) Per Million People In 2012: 108.98 — Bulgaria
- Solar Power (MW) Per $1 Billion GDP (End of 2012): 17.8 — Bulgaria
- New Solar Power (MW) Per $1 Billion GDP In 2012: 15.03 — Bulgaria
- Solar Peak Power Output Record: 22.68 GW — Germany
- Single-Year Solar Power Installation Record: 7.6 GW — Germany
- Solar Power (W) Per Capita (End of 2012): 166.9 — Arizona
- New Solar Power (W) Per Capita In 2012: 108.39 — Arizona
Module Manufacturers & Developers
- #1 solar module manufacturer (2012) — Yingli Green Energy
- #1 utility-scale solar developer in world — First Solar
- #1 EPC solar contractor in the world — First Solar
When I say that a material is “jaw-dropping,” I will not let you down, it will surprise you: it has demonstrated 10 times the strength of steel; it has tremendous malleability and exceptional rigidity; it has electrical and thermal conductivity comparable to that of copper; and it does not rust. It is six times lighter than steel, two times harder, and has exhibited 13 times the resistance to bending.
This versatility makes it what some would call a “wonder material.”
Researchers at the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) — in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany; and Graphenea S.L. Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain — have also found that, in graphene, a single photon light that it absorbs can be converted into several electrons (hence, causing it to generate a relatively large electric current).
This can also benefit light sensors, which uses solar cell technology.
The key word is “absorbs,” because no material can absorb all the light that hits it, some will always bounce off it. This signifies that graphene might facilitate the production of highly efficient solar cells. So, despite the large amount of electrons produced for every photon, it does need to absorb enough photons to be efficient.
More Outstanding Benefits of Graphene
- Graphene can be a very useful semiconductor. It was used by IBM to build a ground-breaking 155 GHZ transistor. It can be a powerful ultracapacitor by spraying graphene ink onto paper. It was used to create a solar cell also by spraying it onto paper.
- Graphene can make automobiles lighter and stronger, but without compromising the benefits of the conventional steel crumple-zone concept as carbon fiber does (since it cannot crumple like steel, but will shatter instead).
- Graphene can make airplanes and wind turbine blades lighter, but without compromising their chassis’ and blades’ ability to act as lightning rods to divert lightning away from vulnerable areas.
Finally, I won’t disappoint you by saying that it is a newly discovered or rare material that may run out in the future. It can be produced by us humans from carbon, which is one of the most abundant elements in the world.
Source: Science Daily