How can solar cells be made more efficient?

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Offline thedoc

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How can solar cells be made more efficient?
« on: 15/07/2012 13:52:14 »
In a world with ever-increasing energy demands and pollution, clean and abundant energy is urgently needed. The Sun provides us with thousands of times more energy than we currently consume, but the challenge is tapping into it. Here, Per-Anders Hansen explains how he's trying to make superior solar cells with double the efficiency of what is already available...

Read the article then tell us what you think...
« Last Edit: 15/07/2012 13:52:14 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: How can solar cells be made more efficient?
« Reply #1 on: 15/07/2012 20:13:22 »
This was also discussed here:

I could imagine a high temperature light absorber/emitter.  One of the concerns that I had earlier was that the re-emission of light might be omnidirectional.  So, a portion of the light would get lost due to re-emission back in the direction of the source.  It could be reduced by insetting the absorption material, but then less of the original light would get the the absorber/emitting material.

How much light would be lost?  50%?  Or, if one thinks of a 6 sided cube, then it might only be about 1/6, or 16%.  Would that be acceptable?

Keep in mind that solar panel efficiency is only a function of the area of the installation.  A 10% efficient panel can produce just as much electricity as a 20% efficient panel, but requires twice the space.  This is only important if area is a limiting factor.  Triple junction cells are already being produced that are twice as efficient as the standard silicone cells, with as high as 41% efficiency with concentrated light and solar tracking.  That is quite a high standard to meet.  So, one would have to come up with a new technology that did the same thing, only cheaper.