What happens when two countries like Germany and Australia come together, united by the sole goal of coming up with the perfect solar cell? A photochemical upconversion happens, triggering an amazing 40% efficiency!
The Energy&Environmental journal recently published the result of a collaboration between Professor Tim Schmidt from the University’s School of Chemistry (Australia) and the Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Energy, which ended up in what has been called a “turbo for solar cells.” The secret lies in the usage of the extra energy that regular solar cells fail to capture and usually gets lost.
With this technique, two energy-poor red photons in the cell are stuck together to combine into one energy-rich yellow photon that prevents any waste of light. The resulting electricity is then harvested and passed into other systems.
The finding is important not only because it makes solar cells more efficient and energy cheaper, but also because there is no need to look elsewhere for improved efficiency – scientists can work on what they’ve got right now.
The process isn’t completely adjusted, but Professor Schmidt says “the pathway is now clear.” I bet you can’t wait for the improved solar cells to be commercialized!