New Solar Cell Design Enhance Energy-Conversion Efficiency Over 50%


Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity by converting photons into electrons. A new solar panel design could enhance the energy conversion efficiency to over 50% by absorbing the spectral aspects of longer wavelengths which usually lost during transmission through the cell.

Theoretically, 30% energy-conversion efficiency is the upper limit for traditional single-junction solar panels, as the majority of the solar energy that strikes the cell passes through without getting absorbed and becomes heat energy. Experiments have already been occurring around the globe to produce various solar panel designs that could lift these limitations on conversion efficiency and reduce the increased loss of energy. The present world record is 46% percent for a 4-junction solar cell. If the energy-conversion efficiency of solar panels surpasses 50%, it will have a large effect on producing electricity.

To reduce these large energy losses and raise efficiency, two small photons were used from the power transmitted by way of a single-junction solar panel containing a hetero-interface formed from semiconductors with various band gaps. Utilizing the photons, a brand new solar panel structure is developed for generating photocurrents. Along with demonstrating theoretical results as high as 63% conversion efficiency, it experimentally achieved up-conversion centered on two photons, a mechanism unique to the solar cell. The lowering of energy loss demonstrated by this experiment has ended up 100 times far better in comparison to previous methods which used intermediate bands.

People continue to create solar panels and assess their performance centered on conversion efficiency, working towards a very efficient solar panel for low-cost energy production.