Energy Saving Through Advanced Photovoltaic Materials and Manufacturing Technology
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
MA, Watertown, MA, 02472-4699
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractTodays conventional solar energy conversion technologies face serious problems, because of their combination of moderate efficiencies and high photovoltaic complexities, and because they are burdened with high manufacturing costs. For solar cells to be cost-competitive with other primary sources of energy such as oil- or coal-based electricity, solar energy must be captured and converted cost-effectively. Novel photovoltaic materials and their innovative manufacturing will reduce the net costs of solar energy production and increase energy productivity. Radiation Monitoring Devices proposes to develop a cost-effective manufacturing process for a new class of semiconductor photovoltaic materials: intermediate band solar cells (IBSCs). The proposed technology is low-complexity, and relies on a proprietary, scalable RMD fabrication technique, which will allow manufacturing of highly mismatched alloys (HMAs), a key requirement for IBSCs. Commercial Application and Other Benefits RMDs proposed IBSC lower-cost, simpler, higher efficiency solar cell technology has the potential to act as a disruptive technology. Initially, we expect our IBSC products to begin displacing solar cells/panels that use conventional photovoltaic technology, in certain diverse, broad and niche applications, where one or more RMD IBSC advantages will better meet one or more highly important user/application needs. Clearly, various prominent, high-visibility, large-scale applications will adopt and benefit from our IBSC products. However, the advantages of higher conversion efficiency and/or smaller potential size of our IBSCs will benefit both everyday and specialized civilian and military instrumentation and communication devices, and remote and/or mobile field applications that presently depend upon larger, less-efficient solar cells, battery power or even (in some cases) fossil fuels and generators. Consumer products, mass-produced items such as automobiles, mobile phones and even home, industrial and commercial buildings and contents stand to benefit significantly from robust, low-cost, high-efficiency solar conversion technology. Significant reductions in fossil fuel use and cost savings well beyond the cost of the saved fuel are to be expected by applications that presently have no practical alternative to the storage, transport and use of such fuels.
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