ČEZ and Elmarco lead the world having successfully tested nanofiber solar panels
The energy group ČEZ and Elmarco have completed the first part of their joint test project. They are the first in the world to have compared the output of solar panels utilizing nanofibers with the properties of common silicon panels. The tests have turned out positive for solar panels with nanofibers (DSSC – dye sensitized solar cells).
Panel tests were conducted between 20th September and 20th December 2009 on the premises of the Temelín nuclear plant. Solartec, based in Rožnov pod Radhoštìěm produced the test panels and assisted with the tests themselves. Measuring generated several million items of data, evaluated for the research team using specialist software. Detailed results will be presented at the 2010 Photovoltaic Forum, which takes place from April 1st -2nd in Pilsen.
Test results confirmed that DSSC panels may find applications outside solar farms. They can be used, for instance, in places with lower exposure intensity, as cladding for buildings or even indoors. At low exposure the DSSC panels were, in fact, up to 80% more efficient than the silicon panels tested, as well as being less heat sensitive. So far, however, they still show lower overall efficiency than silicon panels. What is important, though, is that there is potential for increased efficiency by implementing a number of technical measures, and the test itself provided information as to how this may be achieved. Further development is likewise required, before industrial production, to ensure resistance to atmospheric conditions. Elmarco and its partners are planning to commence industrial production of panels with nanofibers as early as the end of this year.
For the ČEZ Group, this project is part of research, development and testing of new energy technologies. „Development of the next-generation of photovoltaic cells is focused either on higher efficiency or greater utilization during the day, usually using cells from materials cheaper than pure silicon. It was this direction the pilot test followed. Future use of such cells is expected mainly as part of buildings, so-called BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics). Mass production should subsequently bring down their price, as is, moreover, usual with other energy equipment,“ we were told by Aleš Laciok, ČEZ a.s. Research and Development Coordinator.
Thanks to its unique NanospiderTM technology, Elmarco has developed panels which, for the capture of solar energy and its conversion into electrical energy, utilize nanofibers of titanium dioxide (TiO2). „Nanofibers have so far not been used in solar panels anywhere in the world. This new type of solar panels is based on the principle of DSSC technology, and we initially presented it at the world summit „Nanofiber for the 3rd Millenium-Nano for Life 2009” in Prague,” commented Ladislav Mareš, founder and Managing Director of Elmarco.
About the ČEZ Group
The ČEZ Group, as the largest domestic producer of electricity, is planning to invest a total of 30 billion CZK into the development of renewable energy resources over the next 15 years. The ČEZ Group’s objectives, in terms of increased production capacity from renewable resources, is directly related to the Czech Republic‘s objective of producing a total of 13.5% energy from renewable sources in 2010, in line with the EU climate-energy package. This is also consistent with the Futuremotion vision, in which the ČEZ Group commits itself to investment into new technologies allowing more effective and cautious production, distribution and consumption of energy in the future. For further information see www.futuremotion.cz.
Elmarco is the first company in the world to manufacture and sell equipment for the production of nanofibrous material on an industrial scale. They utilize the unique Nanospider™ technology, which meets all requirements for the production of high quality nanofibers for all-round use. The characteristics of the Nanospider™ equipment, such as easy manipulation, expandability according to customer’s wishes and flexibility are highly valued, and it is thanks to these that Elmarco has succeeded in penetrating the global market. At the same time, the company is a pioneer in the use of nanofibers in all spheres of our lives and cooperates with leading Czech and International universities and industrial companies. For further information see www.elmarco.com.