Capri Battery“ by Joseph Beuys from 1985 shown in the exhibition „Shine on me. Wir und die Sonne“. / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

Dresden: Since 28.09.2018, the exhibition “Shine on me. The Sun and Us”, to which ISFH contributed an exhibit, has been running at the renowned German Hygiene Museum Dresden (DHMD).

The extensive presentation is intended as a research trip: In seven epoch- and cross-cultural “orbits” it explores the ancient, always existential relationship of humankind to the sun. The “orbits” describe and combine various perspectives and aspects from the disciplines of art, cultural history and natural science. These include, for example, the religious significance of the sun in the past and present, the processing of the topic in art, the scientific exploration of the sun (e.g. with NASA’s current space mission “Parker-Solar-Probe”) and, of course, the use of solar energy on Earth.

The topic “solar energy” naturally also deals with photovoltaics, which is becoming increasingly important for the world’s energy supply. There are exhibits from the beginnings of photovoltaics, such as the Solar Battery by Bell Labs from 1956. The exhibition also shows applications that have fallen into oblivion and are now topical again, such as a solar-powered electric vehicle by US engineer Charles Alexander Escoffery from 1960.

But the presentation also includes the most innovative concepts of modern photovoltaic research. For example, a lead-free perovskite solar cell based on bismuth oxyiodide from the University of Cambridge, England, and a biohybrid solar cell from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, can be seen. The latter works with an organic absorber based on proteins obtained from spinach and exploiting natural photosynthesis.

Of course, a top research result from the field of crystalline silicon photovoltaics should not be missing from such an exhibition, as it currently accounts for more than 90 % of the global photovoltaic market. For this the editorial staff of the exhibition chose the record POLO solar cell of ISFH with 26.1 % efficiency.

“POLO” (poly-Si on oxide) is an innovative type of passivating contact which allows a very selective extraction of either charge carrier type from the solar cell and thus the highest efficiency for p-type silicon solar cells worldwide. The POLO technology was developed by ISFH together with the Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices of Leibniz Universität Hannover. Further details on this technology, which has been awarded various prizes in the meantime, can be found here.

ISFH is honoured to contribute an exhibit to the exhibition “Shine on me. The Sun and Us”, and wishes the German Hygiene Museum Dresden much success with its presentation. The exhibition runs until 18.08.2019, curator is Dr. Catherine Nichols. Further information can be found on the exhibition’s homepage: