Team Sol

Hi, this is the main page of Team Sol of ENGRC 3500.
How beautiful.

Contact List(netID's)
Jerry Gabriel(instructor) - gg67
Katie - kaw74
Christopher - cmd85
Josh - jl658
Wayne - wac26
Jae - jwy23

Ethics Class: Jeopardy Links



1. GreenBuilding Magazine
Desription: “The Green Building Press is the sustainable construction information specialist. We are here to help you create green, healthy and sustainable buildings.”
Article title: “Solar cells you can paint on the wall”
Posted: August 18, 2007
related article:

Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology claimed to have created a solar cell which is inexpensive and can be painted or printed on plastic sheets. According to the lead researcher, Somenath Mitra, “Someday homeowners will even be able to print sheets of these solar cells with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers can then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations.”
The technology behind this is organic solar cells from polymers. The idea is simple. Sunlight generates positive and negative charges once it hits the surface of organic solar cell. These charges can create a current when separated and sent to different electrodes. The solar cell NJIT uses is carbon nanotube complex, which “is a molecular configuration of carbon in a cylindrical shape.” Not only is this small, about 1/50,000 size of a human hair, nanotubes actually conduct electricity better than copper.

2. IEEE Spectrum magazine
Description: IEEE Spectrum magazine is the flagship publication of the IEEE, the world's largest professional technology association. It is a monthly magazine for technology innovators, business leaders, and the intellectually curious. Spectrum explores future technology trends and the impact of those trends on society and business.
Article title: “Photovoltaic Moore's Law Will Make Solar Competitive by 2015”
Date: May 17, 2008

Summary: IEEE Electron Devices Society meeting was held in San Diego, CA, between May 12-16. The focus was given to three very positive developments that would not have been generally anticipated a decade ago. “First, silicon-based solar technology has decoupled from the semiconductor industry and is achieving steady cost reductions, so that those following PV discern a kind of Moore’s law at work. In 2005, production of silicon for solar cells already surpassed production of silicon for semiconductors. Second, the industry has become so confident in that evolutionary path, policymakers and planners have started to set dates when they expect PV-generated electricity to be competitive with the major sources of electricity sold on the grid now. And third, while the incremental path promises a commercial breakthrough within ten years, it’s suddenly looking like second generation technology may be arriving after all—in which case wide commercialization of PV could occur much sooner.”

3. Plenty Magazine
Description: “Plenty is an environmental media company dedicated to exploring and giving voice to the green revolution that will define the 21st Century. We live in exciting times: people everywhere are reexamining every part of their lives. From the coffee we drink to the cars we use to drive to work, our lives are getting greener—and Plenty is here to document it.”
Article title: “Sand Trap”
Date: November 10, 2006

This article is about the shortage of polysilicon, the main material used to create today's solar cells. Although it is made from sand, which is abundant, the capacity to process the sand into silicon is falling behind demand. In response, companies expanding into the solar energy sector are expanding their production capacity, re-engineering their current products to use less silicon, and utilizing different materials such as a combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) to produce PV cells.

Description: “HowStuffWorks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications, is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. Founded by North Carolina State University Professor Marshall Brain in 1998, the site is now an online resource for millions of people of all ages.”
Article title: “How Solar Cells Work”
Date: April 1, 2000

This article explains the basics of how solar cells work. Silicon, which is a semiconductor with 4 valence electrons, is "doped", or mixed with other elements with more or less electrons, in order to put delocalized electrons in the covalent matrix. Therefore, when a photon of sufficient energy strikes the cell, a delocalized electron can be excited into a higher energy level, and then be siphoned off of the cell into a circuit, producing current.

5. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Description: This website is the United States Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Article title: “The DOE Solar Energy, Technologies Program, FY 2007 Annual Report”
Date: 2008

This document published by the US Department of Energy gives background on the aims and goals of the United States with respect to solar power. More importantly, it explains the various advances in the field that have occurred within the past year. The document explains the DOE’s main goal to be to reduce the cost of solar power to $0.05/kWh to $0.10kWh by the year 2015. It also explains the advances made by various universities, companies, nonprofit organizations, and national laboratories. The document’s main importance is it’s ability to show government interest and funding which could mean that it would achieve all the funding that it needed.

Description: “Ecostream is growing fast around the world in order to provide of solar energy systems contributing in this way to the environment.”
Article title: “Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Electricity”
Date: 2006

This document gives a lot of information with repect to current solar technologies from a solar cell manufacturer. Specifically, it answers questions about safety, maintenance, and the expected life of solar cells. This page also gives a lot of background information on how solar cells work, and definitions of terms associated with it.

Description: “The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is an international non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. IEEE produces 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, publishing well over 100 peer-reviewed journals. The content in these journals as well as the content from several hundred annual conferences are available in the IEEE's online digital library.”
Article title: “Organic Photovoltaic solar cells based on MEH-PPV/PCBM blend”
Date: 2005

This article discusses the possible improvements of organic photovoltaic solar cells based on MEH-PPV/PCBM blend. [MEH-PPV = 2-methoxy-5-(2’-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene; PCBM = 6,6-phenyl-C61-buylic acid methyl ester] Efficiency is a major concern when it comes to solar cells; this article reveals that the bulk heterojunction cell shows the most promising results with 3.5% conversion efficiency. The article concludes that the key to the future of organic solar cells rests on “morphology of the blend active layer”.

Description: “The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is an international non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. IEEE produces 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, publishing well over 100 peer-reviewed journals. The content in these journals as well as the content from several hundred annual conferences are available in the IEEE's online digital library.”
Article title: “Nanostructured Solar Cells for High Efficiency Photovoltaics”
Date: 2006

This article discusses the use of nanostructured solar cells in order to improve efficiency. Such cells offer several advantages including “(1) the ability to exceed a single junction solar cell efficiency by implementing new concepts; (2) the ability to overcome practical limitations in existing devices, such as tailoring the material properties…; (3) the potential for low cost solar cell structures using self-assembled nanostructures.” Challenges facing nanostructured cells include the fact that device design rules for such cells do not yet exist, transport problems, and the need to increase absorption by including certain structures.

9. IDTechEx
Description: “Truly Global Daily News Interpreted by Experts.”
Article title: “3D Solar Cells Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Systems”
Date: June 8, 2007

Although it is widely known that solar power systems help reducing the traditional use of fossil fuels, whether it is an efficient choice of power generation still remains disputable. The article suggests a way to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic system using 3D solar cell. It modifies the structure of cells and improves the rate of light captured, while reducing the size, weight and complexity.


Jason Pontin
Editor in Chief and Publisher
Technology Review
One Main Street, 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142

May 29th, 2008

Dear Mr. Jason Pontin,

The purpose of this letter is to introduce Team Sol and our research on the promising development of photovoltaic cells. As a team with a broad range of disciplines, we have focused our studies in the fields of computer science, information science, systems and technology, civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering. We, the members of Team Sol, bring various qualifications to our argument for solar energy, with the aim to offer you a comprehensive account of solar cells and their future.

Technology Review has a history of covering developments in the fields of both energy and nanotechnology—both of which can be further studied through the lens of solar energy. Many of the current articles on cover an important, integral part of solar cells: the cost. However, Team Sol would like to provide a more complete discussion of solar cells by introducing the idea of Silicon-alternatives and the technology involved. Knowing about cost and efficiency is important but understanding the technology behind solar cells will allow better understanding of such cost and efficiency.

Our article covers the developing technology used in photovoltaic cells and their implications on the future of alternative energy. It reviews the powers and limitations of current photovoltaic technology by examining the structure of silicon-based solar cells. The most crucial limitations to the use of silicon come in the form of its disposal. We then discuss the advantages of developing technology in nanostructured and organic solar cells, which are lightweight, disposable, inexpensive, flexible, and environmentally friendly. As always, there are ethical implications, such as controversy concerning the use of nanotechnology. Finally, the article gives an outlook to the future and why we believe the future of energy is in the use of photovoltaic cells.

It is clear from your Statement of Principles that Technology Review has only the highest of standards for the articles it publishes. As a group, Team Sol believes that we can not only meet but exceed these standards. In the field of solar cells, excellence requires that the technology will provide the best efficiency possible for the most reasonable cost. Integrity demands that we will present only the most accurate, up-to-date data using reliable sources such as IEEExplore and the US Department of Energy. Finally, creativity is an important part of solar cells as developing technology allows for paintable and even wearable cells to increase their prominence in everyday life.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Team Sol
Stimson G25
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

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