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The prospects for thin film PV solar energy in a world dominated by crystalline silicon

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Geoff Hale.

Light refreshments available from 19:00. These talks are open and all are welcome.

The rapid growth in crystalline silicon PV solar module manufacturing from 2010 to 2014 has dramatically reduced the cost of solar PV installation and helped to grow the global market. Thin film PV products were predicted to take an increasing market share but this has not happened and has fallen back to a traditional 10% of market share. The dilemma for any new technology is trying to predict the market opportunities in the future, when it will be ready for large volume manufacture. To compete with crystalline silicon the volume in 5 years’ time will need to be larger than it is today, so the competition for new products gets harder. However, there has not been a more exciting time for research in materials for thin film PV, with compound semiconductor materials such as cadmium telluride and copper indium disellenide both exceeding 20% cell efficiency, the rapid rise of the remarkable Perovskites with cell efficiency exceeding 17% and a range of emerging materials based on earth abundant elements. This talk will explore some of the exciting applications that are well suited to thin film PV which will unlock new markets for clean and renewable electricity generation in the future.

This talk is part of the Cambridge and Anglian Materials Society meetings series.

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