World’s “blackest” solar cell from Natcore Technology

World’s “blackest” solar cell from Natcore Technology

May 1, 2012 0 By Alicia Moore

Solar Energy

Black solar cell absorbs 99.7% of all light

Natcore Technology, a developer of solar energy technology, along with scientists from the National Renewable Energy Lab, has developed a new solar cell that is made of black silicon. The cell is reportedly the “blackest” solar harvesting cell ever created, which also makes it the most effective solar energy harvester in the world. According to Natcore, the solar cell absorbs 99.7% of all light that touches its surface. Conventional solar panels and cells are only able to absorb 95% of light that hit their surface.

New cell could make solar energy a viable alternative to fossil-fuels

According to researchers, the black solar cell is able to perform well in both cloudy and sunny weather. This is a significant improvement from more conventional solar cells that can only perform well on clear days with abundant direct sunlight. Natcore believes that this new solar cell could make solar energy a more viable alternative to fossil-fuels. Solar energy in general has long struggle due to issues of cost and efficiency. Natcore and the National Renewable Energy Lab will be working to resolve these issues with the black solar cell.

Natcore and NREL enter into R&D agreement

The two have signed a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement. According to the agreement, the National Lab with invest $150,000 into a collaborative project lead by Natcore. The project aims to reduce the cost of producing the black solar cells by as much as 3%. The two will also work on utilizing the black solar cells to increase the energy output of conventional solar panels by 7%. If successful, the initiative could mean that black solar cells will be a vital part of the future of solar energy.

Solar cells to be tested for improvements and performance

The agreement will last for one year. During this time, the two organizations will work to develop new solar panels and cells that are based on Natcore’s black cell. The black solar cell will also be tested with existing solar energy systems to collect data on its performance. This data will be used to make improvements to solar energy technologies. Natcore believes that it will see significant improvements made to its black solar cell within the next year.