The Global Energy Prize laureate’s research will be introduced into production in 2016
The Global Energy Prize laureate, Zhores Alferov’s research, will be introduced into production in Russia. According to TASS, mass production of solar cells based on semiconductor heterostructures will start in Novocheboksarsk in 2016.
Zhores Alferov investigated the properties of semiconductor heterostructures in the 60s. Now his invention will be the basis of the second generation of R & D for the mass production of solar cells in Russia. This is due to the fact that silicon - the most important component of semiconductor heterostructures - depreciated by 10 times (from 200 to 20 dollars) and caught up with the cost of glass. Thus, the technology of solar cells using semiconductor heterostructures of Alferov becomes more profitable.
Thin film technology currently used involves applying the silicon layer of 2-3 microns on a glass substrate. Within new production scheme the glass substrate will be replaced by crystalline silicon. According to the Scientific and Technical Center of thin-film technologies in energy of FTI named after Ioffe, the cost per unit will be decreased in a half, and its efficiency will be enhanced in up to 20%.
Advanced solar panels will be used for creation of autonomous power supply systems ranging from 100 kW in destinations located far away from power grids - in Siberia, the Altai, and the Far East, and for construction of solar power plants with a capacity of 10 MW in the same regions, as well as Caucasus and Crimea.
As a reminder, Zhores Alferov was recognized by the Global Energy Prize in 2005 for fundamental research and a considerable practical contribution to creation of semi-conductor energy converters used in solar and electrical energetic. According to the scientist, "the efficiency of solar cells is growing, in 10-15 years photoelectoronics will become very competitive in terms of cost, and by the middle of the 21st century it could displace energy derived from the combustion of hydrocarbons and nuclear power."
The practical aim of the new research of Mr. Alferov is in improving the efficiency of solar cells and new principles for the implementation of integrated circuits.