MECS Academy, an education academy in Mayport, Florida, has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to design and build a world-class, 100-megawatt solar cell.
MECSA students and teachers, who have designed and built more than 20 solar cells since 2009, have designed a new generation of solar cells using a combination of 3D printing and advanced materials.
The solar cells will be placed on the school’s campus to create an interactive 3D model of the solar cells.
When students walk around the school, they will be able to see how the cells are built, the process used to print them, and how they interact with each other.
“We believe that solar cells can revolutionize the way that we manufacture and distribute energy, so this technology will help us create a cleaner, more sustainable future,” said Mecsa President and CEO, Mark Williams.
These new solar cells are made of a lightweight, transparent material called alumina, which is a porous and strong material.
A team of researchers from MEC and the DOE’s Office of Science designed and fabricated the alumina solar cell, which uses a material called CVD-SIL to form a porous, light, and strong solar cell that is resistant to solar UV radiation and thermal stress.
This material can also be used to create high-performance solar cells for mobile devices.
To create the aluminas, MESSA researchers coated alumina with a polymer and then extruded it into a powder to make a thin, flexible film.
Once the aluminized film was formed, the researchers coated the alumine with a thin layer of glass, then placed it in a dish, which was heated until it melted and cooled to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
At that point, the aluminiels were coated with a high-temperature polymeric coating and extruded again, forming a film of alumina that is just 1.5 microns thick.
After this process, the film was extruded and coated with more alumina.
In the process, alumina crystals formed a new film of ceramic, and the researchers then coated the film with a highly conductive layer of silicon to form the solar cell itself.
Because the aluminos are light, the resulting solar cells produce an output of only about 10 watts of power, which means that they can be easily mounted on mobile devices, which will make them useful for classroom solar cells and for classroom projects that require high power output.
As a result, these materials are ideal for classroom classrooms, where the students can learn how to make and use solar cells in real time.
“MEC has the experience to manufacture and scale up a high quality, high-efficiency, and highly efficient solar cell,” said Williams.
“We’re very excited to be able work with them to bring the power of solar to the classroom and into the classroom in a way that is affordable, sustainable, and scalable.”
To learn more about the school and its new solar cell program, please visit MEC Schools website.