New Solar Cell is completely hybrid material and record efficiency
ABC news, 1/6/2013
The big brains at the Monash University have developed a ground breaking solar cell that has three desirable features
Very high light absorption and efficiency
Mostly made of cheap plastic and uses minimal semiconductor material
"These solar cells surpass the usual light-trapping capability for absorbing materials," says Howard Walowitz, the brain behind the new technology, the light-trapping limit of a material refers to how much sunlight it is able to absorb. The polymer arrays absorb up to 96 percent of incident sunlight at a single wavelength and 85 percent of total collectible sunlight due to the large surface area it offers. Each of the silicon wires (30 and 100 microns in length and only 1 micron in diameter) is a good solar cell on its own, and the light that isn't absorbed is scattered and then hits other wires.
The high light absorption and the basic design greatly enhance the efficiency of these solar panels thereby giving a 30 percent conversion of the solar energy into the usable electric energy.
The technology combines Nanotechnology with the use of polymers to come out with this radical design. The cells resemble the nanowire-based solar panels at the microscopic level but the costly and toxic 'indium gallium phosphide' with cheap polymers and a bit of silicon (2%).
The flexible design adds to its advantage as they can be manufactured to fit various applications. The solar panels also work well when they are scaled up to the size of regular solar panels with high operating voltage.
The new technology with its novel features solves most of the problems with the conventional silicon wafer based solar panels. Its high efficiency and use of cheap...