Scientists Develop 3 New Solar Cells

It’s true that the sun’s energy is renewable, powerful, and free. However, solar energy does not equate to electricity. Solar panels are among the most efficient methods of converting sunlight to electricity, and they are 15 percent efficient. While 15 percent translates to high solar productivity, there is still a lot of work to be done. This is why so much research is being done to find alternatives to silicon solar cells. The hunt is always on for something cheaper, smaller, and easier to manufacture. ScienceDaily reported on the following new solar cells within the past month. 1. At the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, a team of researchers fabricated a solvent-free, dye-sensitized solar cell. These solar cells are poised to be more efficient than their counterparts, which require volatile organic solvents that experience high vapor pressure outdoors. The solvent free dye sensitized solar cell shows a light-conversion efficiency of 7.6% under simulated sunlight conditions, a new record for a solvent-free device. 2. Next, the nanostructured thin film solar cell combines both doping and quantum dot sensitization. According to U.C. Santa Cruz professor Jin Zhang, combining these two approaches appears to yield better solar cell materials than either one does alone. The nanocomposite showed higher performance than materials that were just doped with nitrogen or just embedded with cadmium selenide quantum dots, Zhang’s research team says. 3. Finally, researchers believe a new material, nano flakes, have the potential to convert up to 30 per cent of the solar energy into electricity for twice the amount that we convert today. Researchers say nano flakes have a perfect crystalline structure and the ability to absorb light. While research is promising, it may take decades before we see their practical applications in our homes. In the meanwhile, solar panels are still your best bet. Save yourself the trouble of seeking a qualified, pre-screened solar contractor. We work with major solar companies across the United States. Contact us today for a free solar estimate. [tags]solar cell, thin film, nano technology[/tags]

Posted on January 24 in Solar News by .

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