New Solar Cell Now Captures Entire Solar Energy Spectrum
According to a new research carried out by a researcher from George Washington University, a new solar cell capable of capturing virtually the entire energy in the solar spectrum, has been invented.
This new solar cell integrates multiple cells loaded into a single device and has the potential of converting direct sunlight into electricity with an efficiency level of 44.5%. The device is not made up of the commonly used panels instead, it uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels with lenses that concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells.
Because of their small size — less than one millimeter square — solar cells that utilize more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively.
The study, GaSb-based Solar Cells for Full Solar Spectrum Energy Harvesting, was published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials in July 2017 explains that the cells in the panels act as sieves for absorbing sunlight. Each layer is made up of a specialized material to absorb the energy of specific wavelengths. While the light is being funneled through the stack, half the energy is meanwhile converted into electricity. The traditionally used solar panel only converts a quarter of the available energy into electricity.
Around 99% of the power of direct sunlight which reaches the earth’s surface falls between wavelengths of 250 nanometers and 2,500 nanometers and solar cells made up of conventional material cannot capture this entire spectral range. Whereas, the new device can unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are usually unattainable in conventional solar cells. These GaSb-based solar cells are stacked together enabling 3D assembly of the tiny particles with increased precision.
Even though this solar cell is expensive due to the current cost of the materials involved, scientists say the high efficacy makes this device very promising.
A similar product priced at lower rates could be brought into the market by creating a technology with very high solar concentration levels.
You may be interested
Smart Nanotechnology Enlivens Wooden Ships and ArtifactsMohit Joshi - January 28, 2019
Scientists developed an innovative approach using ‘smart’ nanocomposites to conserve 16th-century British warship, the Mary Rose, and its artifacts. Shipwrecks are preserved in sediments under cold water,…
Researchers Discovered New Properties of Ferroelectric CrystalMohit Joshi - January 25, 2019
Researchers discovered new properties of ferroelectric crystal, according to a study published on July 10, 2018. This study was conducted by a team of researchers from China.…
Researchers Develop Novel Antibody to Knockdown of Protein in VertebratesMohit Joshi - January 24, 2019
Researchers from Technische Universität Dresden developed a synthetic antibody that improves functional analysis of proteins. A research led by Dr. Jörg Mansfeld of the Biotechnology Center of…