back to article Tubular cells: Georgia Tech demos nano-scale solar fab

The idea that got Solyndra into so much trouble – that a tube-shaped solar cell could be more efficient than a traditional flat design – didn’t disappear when its highest-profile manufacturer collapsed. It remains a strong focus of research efforts. There’s a good reason for this: if such designs can be fabricated at a …

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I may be missing the point, but...

The major advantage is supposedly omnidirectional collection.

The example application cited is “solar clothing”.

Wouldn’t it be dark inside the clothes?

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Re: I may be missing the point, but...

Yes. But with current "single direction" solar cells, unless you have them mounted on a swivel to follow the sun, you get a sharp fall-off when the sun is not directly aligned with your cell. With this concept that will no longer happen.

If Solar clothing were made using single direction cells, the wearer would need to lay flat to get any benefit; this will allow for being up and moving and still getting a charge.

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That's not why Solyndra got into trouble...

The reason Solyndra got into trouble was not because of the cyllindrical shape of their product but because they used copper-indium-gallium-diselenide instead of silicon. At the time Solyndra was founded silicon prices were very high and rising quickly. Solyndra thought they could undercut the companies using silicon by using copper-indium-gallium-diselenide instead.

Unfortunately for them silicon prices fell dramatically and copper-indium-gallium-diselenide solar panels became uncompetitive.

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