Scientists develop a new, highly efficient solar cellJuly 14, 2017
New solar cell is capable of collecting nearly half of all direct sunlight it receives
Scientists from the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science have designed a new solar cell that may be one of the most efficient of its kind. The prototype solar cell is comprised of several cell stacks that are incorporated into a single device. According to researchers, the device is capable of collecting nearly all of the energy potential from the solar spectrum. Researchers note that the solar cell is capable of converting direct sunlight into electricity with 44.5% efficiency.
Device concentrates sunlight in order to generate electricity more efficiently
The solar cell developed by the university is somewhat different than its counterparts. The device uses lenses that concentrate sunlight, enhancing its ability to generate electrical power from the sun. This allows the device to be relatively small and make use of few materials. As such, researchers suggest that it can be produced in a cost effective manner. Because of the device’s design, it is capable of catching nearly half of all sunlight funneled through it. By comparison, other highly efficient solar cells are only capable of collecting nearly a quarter of sunlight and converting it into electricity.
Scientists continue work to make an efficient solar cell
Creating more efficient solar cells has been a top priority for scientists throughout the world for years. This is due to the increasing popularity and importance of solar energy. This form of clean power has become a major focus for many countries, particularly due to its economic and environmental benefits. As such, the demand for efficient solar solutions has been steadily growing, creating an opportunity for scientists to solve some of the challenges that solar energy currently faces.
High costs could slow the adoption of new solar energy solutions
One of the challenges facing the development of a new kind of solar cell is cost. The high cost of a highly efficient and advanced solar cell may prohibit its entry into the market. By making an inexpensive, yet still highly efficient, device, however, could solve this problem and ensure entry into the solar energy market.