MIT makes a breakthrough in solar energy

MIT makes a breakthrough in solar energy

April 29, 2013 0 By Stephen Vagus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Solar Energy

Breakthrough could be promising for solar energy

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have announced that they have made a significant breakthrough in the realm of solar energy. Researchers claim to have developed a new solar cell that has broken all efficiency records that had been set before its creation. Solar cell efficiency has been a field of competition in the realm of renewable energy. Developing a solar cell that is highly efficient has major implications for solar energy in general, the most promising of which would be making solar power a more viable alternative to fossil-fuels.

Researchers have developed an improved solar cells

A solar cell is capable of converting sunlight into electrical power. These cells are the component of solar panels that are responsible for producing energy, as solar panels themselves exist to collect sunlight rather that convert this light into electrical power themselves.MIT researchers believe t hat the solar cell they have developed is capable of overcoming the efficiency limit that has long held this technology back. Instead of changing how the solar cell is produced, researchers focused instead on changing the process through which these technologies produce energy.

New solar cell reaches higher level of efficiency

Typically, a solar cell produces a single electron for every photon gathered by a solar panel. Photons, however, carry more energy than is being used by the solar cell, but much of these energy goes to waste as it is unused by the cell itself. MIT researchers have developed a solar cell that is capable of harnessing this wasted energy and using it to produce an additional electron. Researchers believe that this process increases the efficiency of solar cells by 30%. If the process can be expanded upon, higher levels of efficiency are likely.

Solar energy continues to find support throughout the US

Solar energy has become a field of interest throughout the U.S. The government has been showing strong support for solar energy, believing it to be an adequate replacement for fossil-fuels to some degree. The support provided by the federal government has helped breakthroughs in solar energy technology take form , allowing researchers, such as those at MIT, to make major progress in making solar energy more efficient.