Alan Heeger: Video & Presentation
Next Generation Solar Cells
Get the Flash Player to see this video.
In one hour we get enough sunlight on the earth to power the planet for a year. With a home PV array, the electricity meter can runs backwards for most of the day putting excess energy back into the grid, but the cells are too expensive. A low cost solar technology that covers a lot of area needs to be developed. Plastic solar cells developed are low cost, lightweight, and flexible. Plastics can be dissolved to ink in common solvents and then roll-to-roll printed like newspaper. The molecular design of new materials for efficient harvesting of photons from the sun is promising. With a plastic solar cell with 8% efficiency for eight years, can get $0.1/kWh. A point where electrical equipment is more expensive than solar cells is reachable.