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European researchers aim for 25% solar power efficiency

EU-funded project plans to advance technology in supply chain

The EU hopes advances in solar technology can help it reach its 2020 target
The EU hopes advances in solar technology can help it reach its 2020 renewable energy targets

Partners in an EU-funded research project are aiming to increase the efficiency in solar cells to 25 per cent and reduce power conversion losses by 20 per cent. The three-year EUR 25.7m project, known as ‘Energy for a Green Society’ (ERG), will begin in 2013 and will also look into innovative harvesting techniques and energy-management techniques.

Initially, researchers will focus on the design and development of innovative solar cells, exploring novel architectures, approaches and materials. One of the programme’s stated objectives is to demonstrate commercially viable applications of printable dye-sensitized solar cells that “represent a promising low-cost alternative to silicon solutions”.

The project partners will also look at optimising energy generated by PV systems, concentrating on power-management electronics for silicon-cell panels and micro-electro-mechanical systems for concentrated photovoltaic cells. The researchers will explore techniques that track the maximum power point to boost output from solar arrays and improve power-conversion efficiency at the module and segment levels.

ERG project coordinator, Francesco Gennaro, said: “The ERG initiative will contribute to the establishment of a solid electronics design base for Europe and create a set of technology standards for the solar energy sector.”