Towards Inexpensive Thin-Film Solar Cells: How Can Combustion Science Help?
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Hai is Professor at the Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California
Research Interests include: Combustion chemistry, high-temperature chemical kinetics, soot formation and its effects on climate forcing, nano-material synthesis, characterization and modelling, transport theory of nanomaterials, chemical sensors, catalysis and photocatalysis.
He recently funded TiSol to develop new solar technologies.
TiSol mission is to develop the next-generation of thin-film solar cells under $1/W.
Prof. Hai Wang will briefly describe the innovative technology his company is working on and then will open the discussion on how cheap solar can benefit poorer countries and what are the fundamental issues that research and business must focus on in order to develop products which are of benefit for people and not just for business itself.
From the LondonRIG household energy practitioners, Hai would like to learn:
- What the poor nations need or can afford in terms of solar energy. Solar energy holds the advantage of entering into poor nations with less resistance than developed countries for many reasons, e.g., little to no large capital investment (for land lines), low capacity needs (I grew up with two 15 W bulbs for the whole family - fluorescent light was a major improvement of our life in the 70s), and low installation costs. The questions are: what capacity does a single household need and for what purpose. A single family in the US requires a 2 KW system - absurd as usual. I suspect that a single household in poor nations requires much less. We'd like to understand what is the capacity need and at what (affordable) cost?
- Fundamentally solar energy will remain a luxury when one struggles to make a living. What is the fundamental advantage for a poor family/village to be equiped with a solar cell?
- Most of the programs that introduce solar energy into the third world countries eventually fail, simply because no one ever worried about maintainance needs. I learned that a solar cell in a poor village in Honduras typically run for 1-2 years. The problem: it broke down and no one fixes it.
For more information visit: http://www.tisol-usa.com
- May 31, 2009 — DOE selects TiSol for award negotiation for the Solar America Initiative (SAI) Photovoltaic Technology Pre-Incubator Award.
- September 20, 2009 – NSF SBIR program selects TiSol for Phase I support to develop scalable fabrication method of mesoporous thin-films for production of efficient dye-sensitized solar cells.PRs for TISOL is limited, other than announcement by DOE: