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August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Cell Quantum Efficiency Basics

Quantum efficiency (QE) is the ratio of the number of charge carriers collected by a photovoltaic (PV) cell to the number of photons—or packets of light—of a given energy shining on the solar cell.

August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Cell Conversion Efficiency Basics

The conversion efficiency of a photovoltaic (PV) cell, or solar cell, is the percentage of the solar energy shining on a PV device that is converted into electrical energy, or electricity.

August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Single-Crystalline, Thin-Film Cell Basics

Single-crystalline thin films are made from gallium arsenide (GaAs), a compound semiconductor that is a mixture of gallium and arsenic.

August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Polycrystalline Thin-Film Cell Basics

Polycrystalline thin-film cells are made of many tiny crystalline grains of semiconductor materials. The materials used in these cells have properties that are different from those of silicon.

August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Silicon Cell Basics

Silicon—used to make some the earliest photovoltaic (PV) devices—is still the most popular material for solar cells.

August 20, 2013
Photovoltaic Crystalline Silicon Cell Basics

To separate electrical charges, crystalline silicon cells must have a built-in electric field. Light shining on crystalline silicon may free electrons within the crystal lattice, but for these electrons to do useful work—such as provide electricity to a light bulb—they must be separated and directed into an electrical circuit.

August 19, 2013
Crystalline Silicon Photovolatic Cell Basics

Crystalline silicon cells are made of silicon atoms connected to one another to form a crystal lattice. This lattice comprises the solid material that forms the photovoltaic (PV) cell's semiconductors. This section describes the atomic structure and bandgap energy of these cells.

August 16, 2013
Solar Energy Technology Basics

Solar energy technologies produce electricity from the energy of the sun. Small solar energy systems can provide electricity for homes, businesses, and remote power needs. Larger solar energy systems provide more electricity for contribution to the electric power system.

August 7, 2013
Charting the Future of Energy Storage

As we continue to incorporate more renewable energy into the grid, technologies that store energy like batteries will be key to providing a continuous flow of clean energy even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun doesn’t shine.

July 29, 2013
Taking Battery Technology from the Lab to the Big City

A small New York City startup is hoping it has the next big solution in energy storage. A video documents what the company's breakthrough means for the future of grid-scale energy storage.