Thursday, May 20, 2010

96% Solar Efficiency


A new anti-reflective coating developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could help to overcome two major hurdles blocking the progress and wider use of solar power. The nanoengineered coating boosts the amount of sunlight captured by solar panels and allows those panels to absorb the entire spectrum of sunlight from any angle, regardless of the sun's position in the sky.
An untreated silicon solar cell only absorbs 67.4 percent of sunlight shone upon it — meaning that nearly one-third of that sunlight is reflected away and thus unharvestable.
After a silicon surface was treated with Lin's new nanoengineered reflective coating, however, the material absorbed 96.21 percent of sunlight shone upon it — meaning that only 3.79 percent of the sunlight was reflected and unharvested. This huge gain in absorption was consistent across the entire spectrum of sunlight, from UV to visible light and infrared, and moves solar power a significant step forward toward economic viability.

Source: PhysOrg

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5 Comments:

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