New type of solar cell could be the future of solar energyJune 2, 2012
Scientists work to develop new solar cells
Researchers from the Northwestern University of Colorado have developed a method to improve the efficiency and longevity of solar energy cells. Solar cells are an alternative to the typical photovoltaic solar panels. These cells are typically much more efficient and affordable than their counterparts. Solar cells are not free from the faults, however, as they make use of silicon oxide, which is toxic to the environment. Some solar cells make use of titanium oxide, which is cleaner, but can corrode the internal machinations of the energy system if leaks occur. Researchers believe they have found a viable alternative to these materials.
New materials could improve the durability and longevity of solar cells
Researchers have been working on developing a new material that can solidify after it is applied to nanoparticles that are used in solar cells. The material is designed to be environmentally friendly and less harmful to the solar cell is a leak should occur. University researchers have developed a so-called solid state cell, which is capable of generating electricity by collecting sunlight efficiently. It is believed that the energy system can last longer than typical solar cells.
U.S. continues support of solar energy
Solar energy has begun a major focus for the U.S. The country has begun aggressively funding the alternative energy in an effort to break away from fossil-fuels. The increased interest in alternative energy is backed, in part, by the Department of Defense, which has concluded that energy is a matter of national security. The Department of Energy has also taken a supportive stance behind solar energy, believing it to be an economically viable option from amongst the playing field of alternative energy.
Researchers to use solid state solar cells in future projects
The Northwestern University of Colorado has plans to develop an array of solid state solar cells. The project is meant to show the viability of this new kind of solar cell. If successful, solid state solar cells may become a popular type of solar energy system in the future.