New Solar Cells Technology That Can Change Energy Forever

July 21, 2017

solar cells

We are all pretty excited about the concept of solar energy and its potential to power our whole planet. Capturing solar energy is:

  • clean,
  • easy,
  • renewable

There was only one problem (until now) with solar panels though – they weren’t able to make them potent enough to capture more than 25% of the available solar energy.

But now, a team of scientists has managed to produce a newly and rather remarkably designed solar cell that collects nearly twice as much, which could really be a big deal.

Who Did It And What Exactly?

It was a group of scientists over at GW School of Engineering and Applied Science who have designed a multi-layered, stacked cell that works in a way sieve does.

This means that “each layer grabs a portion of the light spectrum as sunlight passes through on its way to the next layer down.”

Here’s what the lead author of this new research Matthew Lumb has to say:

“Around 99 percent of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250nm (Editor’s note: nm = nanometers) and 2500nm, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range. Our new device is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realizing the ultimate multi-junction solar cell.”

Pretty neat.