Solar Blinds

Component 1


Task One...

Prepare a 200- to 300-word history about the National Critical Technology (NCT) technical application your team has selected to solve a local or national problem.

            Photovoltaics began in 1839 as a coincidence. Alexandre Edmond Becquerel created it when he allowed the light-electricity conversion, now known as the photovoltaic effect, when he was conducting an experiment using metal electrodes and electrolyte when the conductance rose with illumination. In 1873, Willoughby Smith discovered the photovoltaic effect in selenium, and in 1876, William G. Adams and his student R. E. Day found that illuminating a junction between platinum and selenium also causes the photovoltaic effect.  With these to discoveries the first selenium solar or photovoltaic cells could began to be constructed in 1877. In 1887, Heinrich Hertz that ultraviolet light changes the time it takes for the sparks between the electrodes to be initiated. In 1959, after years increasing the of efficiency Hoffman Electronics introduced a solar cell with 10% efficiency and was able to send a photovoltaic field of 9,600 cells to space with the American Satellites Explorer VI and Explorer VII. One year later, they came out with solar panels with a 14% efficiency. Solar panels were being improved upon ever since the first designs were created and continued to be improved upon until 1989 when the thin filmed solar panel finally got patented and could be produced. So about 150 years from start to finish to produce the solar panels, that will eventually be able to be mass-produced at a rate that will make them inexpensive enough to be available to the masses.


Task Two…

Cite three detailed examples of research done in the past 3 to 5 years which focused on the NCT technical application your team selected. Include:
-the funding agency,
-the principal investigator's name, and
-the institution where the research is or was being conducted.

Example 1:

            The University of California conducted a research program saying that it was not looking good for the production of solar panels because of he cost to make them. Steverin Borenstein a professor at the University of California says, “their cost far out weigh the benefits”(University of California, 1)

Example 2:

            In 2001, Karl Knapp, PHD and Teresa Jester from, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co tested if the myth “it takes more electricity to manufacture a solar panel then it will ever put out,”(New Solar Panels, 1) and found out that it is false. The study showed that the panels reach energy pay back from five to ten years of use.

Example 3:

            In December 2008, Judy Newman reported on the Wisconsin Power & Light in Madison (WPL) and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. (PSC) in Green Bay. The PSC had the WPL triple use of solar energy in its Second Nature Energy Program which pays costumers for the renewable energy they contribute. 


Task Three…

Based on the research your team has done, explain how the NCT application chosen has advanced scientific knowledge.

Our solar paneled blinds will change the limits of solar panels. It will start the new era of solar paneling. With thesolar cells so small they will soon be able to apply with everything. The crystalline silicone enables the panels to be thin and light weight. Also the new engineering of the silicone will decrease the amount of power used to obtain the energy. With the band gap energy lower the solar cells will be more efficient. The solar panel also have a lighter, thinner metallic contact grid which allows a higher percentage of protons to pass through. We hope that with our newly developed technology, that others will find alternatives to maximizing the solar cell efficiency. Also by the panels being thin and light weight they will be developed to be compatible in other places where energy was never thought to be harnessed before.

ISTF Group 08-1853