As the world shifts away from fossil fuels, a broad consensus of experts believes that of all the green technologies available, solar power is among the most sustainable and cheapest.
Research innovation is lowering the costs of new equipment, efficiently raising levels, and making PV panels more durable and even recyclable.
Recently, a new update developed by scientists at the University of York in the UK has increased the ability of solar panels to absorb light by an astonishing 125 percent.
A potential game changer, it has the promise of harvesting ten times more energy for the same relative cost.
The team accomplished this feat by using a checkerboard design for their panel face, rather than the traditional flat panel surface. The new design reportedly increased the diffraction rate, which measures the likelihood of light being absorbed.
Furthermore, the team’s innovative pattern also led them to believe that lighter, thinner and more flexible solar panels could be a natural result.
According to Dr. Christian Schuster from the University Physics Department, “We found a simple trick to boost the absorption of thin solar cells. Our research shows that our idea actually rivals the improved absorption of more sophisticated designs, while absorbing more light deep within the plane and less light near the surface structure itself. “
“In principle, we could deploy ten times more solar energy for the same amount of absorbent material: ten times thinner solar cells could allow rapid expansion of photovoltaic energy, increase solar electricity production and greatly reduce our carbon footprint ”He wrote in the team’s research paper, published in the Journal Optica.
In partnership with NOVA University of Lisbon, the team claims that the amount of silicon required for their panels that have thinner cells would reduce the costs of the new panels. Additionally, it could lead to the adoption of solar cell technology for specialized applications, such as non-slip walking surfaces, for example.
When developing new solar cell upgrades, scientists know that there is currently a limit to the efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells in converting energy from the sun into usable electricity. A typical good solar panel today will convert 15-20 percent of sunlight.
With updates like these, companies will undoubtedly increase that level substantially.