The National Renewable Energy Laboratory gave out awards on Thursday to two companies developing solar electric cells they hope will bring a breakthrough in solar panel efficiency.
Top prize went to Wakonda Technologies, based in upstate New York, which is commercializing "virtual single crystal" technology.
The efficiency of converting sunlight to electricity in solar cells made from silicon--the most common material today--are in the 15 percent to 20 percent range. Companies are trying to manufacture cells out of other materials--copper-indium-gallium-diselenide or cadmium-telluride--to be more cost-effective.
The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of commercial cells is expected to improve incrementally over … Read more