Thursday, September 25, 2008

ANU, Chinese scientists to make cheap solar energy

Posted Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:35pm AEST Updated Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:20pm AEST

Scientists from the Australian National University are working with Chinese researchers to make solar power technology more affordable for households.

The new solar panels are being developed by the ANU's Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems in conjunction with scientists from the Tianjin University in China.

ANU project leader Professor Andrew Blakers says the new roof-mounted solar power system will be much cheaper than existing technology.

"Traditionally these kinds of systems have been built with expensive, specialist concentrator cells," he said.

"We'll be modifying and upgrading commercially available non-concentrator solar cells which should result in major savings.

"We'll also be developing more efficient techniques to reduce the influence of moving shadows which have the potential to eat into the amount of energy being generated."

The ANU's Dr Igor Skryabin says their Chinese counterparts are eager to get started.

"Their team in China is willing to extend this collaboration and it will involve the exchange of students, lectures and a broad range of educational activities," he said.

"So there are many opportunity for us and our partners."

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