To learn more about fine tuning, watch the video below. I’m not convinced that you’ll ever tune up your violin to the correct pitch – but if you do, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to fix it.
Learn more about fine tuning
A new type of solar panel with flexible thin films could reduce the amount of energy need to produce low-cost solar power by three-quarters when compared to bulky solid semiconducting modules, according to researchers at Michigan Tech who are developing the new technology.
The solar panels are thin for solar cells, but are thin enough to be used for solar power modules, which contain a glass-filled polypropylene structure to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity.
The work builds on ongoing collaborations between research scientists and manufacturers of thin film solar cells to achieve superior performance by combining both technology domains.
The solar panel research was carried out by three Michigan Tech professors and the company’s research partners at Cargill. The research is published in the December issue of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
The work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and by the National Science Foundation.
“This is the first real breakthrough of this type of solar panel that shows we can simultaneously do the manufacturing of solar cells and thin film solar. Our findings show there are other ways to achieve the same result,” said Kary Mulligan, professor of materials science and engineering.
The research team worked with Suniva, a thin film solar power manufacturer based in Grand Rapids, Mich., on building prototypes of the new solar cells, with Suniva’s manufacturing partners Cargill, EOS Solar, JEDEC, and ITC Energy. When the engineers applied chemical bonds in the thin film solar cells, the researchers discovered that the films could also hold up like a flexible film for the solar cells.
“We found some additional interesting properties of the polyethylene film,” said David Rech, the Robert M. Buell Institute Assistant Professor of materials science and engineering. “We are very pleased this research was done in partnership with Suniva and Cargill.”
The solar panels have been compared against traditional silicon solar cells. Traditional silicon solar cells usually have a thickness of about 20 micrometers, or the width of a human hair, and are used to convert sunlight into electricity. Compared to thinner polymers and glass, flexible solar cells are lighter weight, cost less, and also reduce the amount
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