"Tailoring the Solar Energy Harvest as an Example of Sustainability in Research"

Juan Luis Peña Chapa
Departamento de Física Aplicada. CINVESTAV-Unidad Mérida, México

Thursday, August 24th, 18:00 hrs
Room: Tulum G


In Mexico nowadays is fairly common the use of solar panels in order to supply electric power needs. Certainly the associated productions costs in manufacturing of the solar panels has an impact in the final module price. However, for the commercially available solar panels in Mexico, have you ever wonder if the active materials, those needed for the photovoltaic conversion, are mined in Mexico? Would the solar panels show a similar efficiency compare to the places where they were designed? Higher? Lower? Should one expect to have similar working conditions around the globe? Certainly, if your answer to my first question is no, then we might find ourselves in a predicament in the near future. In that case, the future solar panels users will have to pay the extra cost for using a renewable energy. Indeed, Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, then where is the catch?

In this talk, I will address and discuss all these questions based on our results for a binary systems (CdS/CdTe) for solar modules in which we have reach an efficiency of 10% in a 25 square centimeter module and also in an ongoing project in the framework of CONACyT´s network “Red de Energía Solar”.