IBM Nearing Breakthrough in CPV

IBM has announced a breakthrough in concentrated Photovoltaic (PV) technology that will allow them to produce solar electricity five times more efficiently than current PV technology.

The breakthrough still has to progress from the lab to practical application, but IBM is confident that the technology required to cool the collector plates with high amounts of concentrated energy will be provided for by their years of research and development of cooling techniques for computer microchips.

“We believe IBM can bring unique skills from our vast experience in semiconductors and nanotechnology to the important field of alternative energy research,” said Dr. Supratik Guha, the scientist leading photovoltaics activities at IBM Research. “This is one of many exploratory research projects incubating in our labs where we can drive big change for an entire industry while advancing the basic underlying science of solar cell technology.”

This aspect of IBM’s technology development is intended for use in large scale solar farms, rather than the individual use targeted by other projects.

In addition to working to develop concentrated PV systems, IBM is also working to develop and produce thin film PV collectors and a variety of other solar technologies.