Plastic photovoltaic cell

Plastic photovoltaic cell

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Credit: HUBERT RAGUET/LOOK AT SCIENCES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Plastic photovoltaic cell being held in a researcher's hand. Photovoltaic cells, the basic components of solar panels, contain materials that can absorb energy from sunlight and convert it into an electrical current. In this photovoltaic cell, a plastic replaces silicon, which is the usual material used. The initial performance of the plastic is lower than that of silicon photovoltaic cells, but this technology could be used where energy efficiency requirements are not high. Photographed at INES (Institut National de l'Energie Solaire), a French research institute.

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