Solar power: energy from the sun
CSIRO is committed to making photovoltaic solar cells – a commercialised, readily available solar technology – cheaper, longer lasting and more environmentally sustainable.
Photovoltaics (PVs) involve the conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. Materials are selected or designed to absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these electrons are captured, electricity is created.
Most of today's commercially available solar cells are made from high purity semi-conductor or solar grade silicon, which makes the cells expensive.
CSIRO is investigating new organic materials (like plastic) and other technologies that will create the next generation of solar cells – they will be lighter, more flexible, attractive and most importantly, cheaper.
CSIRO's current photovoltaic projects include:
- Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium
- Dye-sensitised solar cells
- Organic solar cells
- Solar intermittency study