Home Green Energy Solar Power

University of Texas Discovery Could Turn Solar Cells' Lost Heat into Electricity


Solar cells are a real treasure if handled and improved properly. The problem with them is that they usually use silicon, so the efficiency rate doesn’t exceed 31%, at most. All of this is about to change once the organic plastic semiconductor material suggested by the University of Texas comes in place: a predicted 50 to 100% increase!

So far, regular solar cells left out the „hot” electrons, leaving it for the panel to transform them into heat instead of electricity. What this miracle plastic semiconductor does is it enables solar cells to extract all kinds of electrons from the photons of sunlight they take in.

Not only does this material possess great molecular design and synthesis, but it is also much cheaper, a trait that no producer can remain indifferent to.

The way to absorb the „hot” electrons is done by means of semiconductor nanocrystals, which can lead to a 66% efficiency of the generator. Unfortunately, we are talking about the optimistic case of highly focused sunlight, but a solar panel mostly comes into contact with raw, unfocused sunlight.

One type of solar cell that depends on the light concentration for working is the gallium arsenide cell, which gives out a 42% efficiency, meaning double than the others, but that’s a rather expensive solution, only used in space applications.

[via Cleantechnica]

(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.