Solar Power Gamechanger: Semiconductors to the Rescue
Up to what point can you "make" a solar panel?
Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory (Lanl) in New Mexico, this time proposing new forms of cells or innovative structures in silicon, but have focused on reactions that occur at nanometer level in the cells themselves.
Using microscopic mineral crystals of semiconductors, it is possible to obtain more power for equal amounts of light through a technique called "carrier multiplication".
MORE EFFICIENCY WITH A SINGLE PHOTONS - In a conventional solar cell, a free electron for every photon of light that hits it. The electron in turn generates a current that is channeled into the electricity grid.
In the process, however, is also produced in excess of energy that is dispersed in the form of heat. The "carrier multiplication," or Meg, designed to transmit the surplus energy to another electron, generate additional power and thus make the cell more efficiently.
Scientists have shown that this enhancement can be implemented using a special semiconductor that possess strong interactions between electrons (including the silicon and other components used in solar cells).
Lanl The team, led by Dr. Victor Klimov, has shed light on the issue by demonstrating that the results obtained by other researchers were not affected by the phenomenon of the photo, a physical process that appears to leave the positively charged semiconductor material (as Meg), but not actually increase the production of electricity.
FUTURE APPLICATIONS - Although the research on this matter should be improved, the future of the "carrier multiplication" to the conversion of solar energy seems very promising. To this end, nono crystals were the most efficient material to catalyze the solar energy, requiring half the energy to generate an extra electron compared to the larger solids.
The next objective of Lanl says Klimov, is to produce a material for solar cells that, through the propagation of electrons, can increase the limit of energy conversion of solar cells from 31 percent currently to about 40 percent.
[Thanks to Residential Solar Power blog]
Tags: Solar Power , Sun , Energy Efficiency , Solar Panels , Alternative Energy
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