Living Without Oil webinar: Solar- Cost and Limiting Efficiency of Silicon Solar Panels

An Elder Academy Event

Tom Tiedje
Saturday, October 24
10:00am- 12:00pm Online webinar (details below)

Over the last 40 years the cost of silicon solar panels has decreased by more than a factor of 300, annual production has increased by five orders of magnitude and energy conversion efficiency has doubled. Recent power purchase agreements in the Middle East, Brazil and the US have come in at less than 2 cents/kwh. The net result is that “wind and solar have won the race to produce the lowest cost bulk electricity” (Bloomberg, New Energy Finance, 2018).

This seminar will explain what is likely to happen in the future with respect to solar panel cost, production volume and efficiency. Future projections for efficiency are guided by thermodynamics and the optical and electronic properties of silicon; cost can be projected with a learning curve, similar to Moore’s law for integrated circuits. A recent innovation is the bifacial panel which is sensitive to light incident on both sides and gives 10-30% more output power than a single-sided panel.

Dr. Tiedje is a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Victoria. Before coming to Victoria in 2008 as Dean of Engineering, he was a faculty member in the Faculties of Science and Applied Science at the University of British Columbia and before that he worked for ExxonMobil in New Jersey. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

To register click here.
Students register free by emailing with their UVic Netlink ID

Presented by the UVic Retirees Association