The renewable energy space is in a mode of continued experimentation, so as to ensure maximum utilization of sustainable resources. To that end, recently, 2 major breakthroughs were observed in solar cell technology that have the potential to considerably enhance the way man harvests energy from the sun.
Both these studies have been published in Nature Energy and Nature Photonics and are touted to transform the efficiency of solar energy and also significantly reduce the expenses that go in manufacturing solar cells, claim scientists.
As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the first breakthrough is inclusive of upconverting non-visible, low energy low energy light into high energy light so as to generate more power but from the same amount of sunlight. Researchers from the UNSW University and RMIT University in Australia and also the University of Kentucky in the United States apparently have observed that oxygen could be conveniently used for transferring low energy light into molecules which then can be converted into power.
The technique basically involves deploying very tiny semiconductors – called quantum dots, so as to absorb the low energy light and then convert it into visible light in order to capture the energy.
Apparently, the second breakthrough uses a type of material called as perovskites in order to create next-gen solar modules which are much more stable and efficient than the present commercial solar cells that made of silicon.
Not to mention, solar cells manufactured from perovskites are also much more inexpensive to produce, along with being lightweight and flexible. So far, the main issue with this material is that it is rather difficult to scale up so as to create solar panels that are several meters long. To that end, there is a new approach that uses multiple layers in order to prevent energy loss.
It is being speculated that these researchers aim to test these techniques on larger solar modules, hoping that eventually this technology will be commercialized in the future.