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Solar cells that work on cloudy days just hit a record-breaking 22.1% efficiency

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posted on May, 21 2015 @ 08:20 AM

There's been plenty of good news about solar power lately - not only are governments around the world using it more and more, we're now able to harvest the Sun's energy more cheaply and efficiently than ever before. But there's still one big problem: traditional solar cells simply don't work that well unless they're in direct, bright sunlight.

To rectify this, researchers have been working on creating structures called black silicon solar cells, which absorb way more light and are useful even on overcast days. But they've never been efficient enough to be real players in the solar race - up until now, that is.

A team of European researchers has just announced that they've set a new record by creating black silicon solar cells that can convert 22.1 percent of the Sun's light into electricity - an increase of almost four percent on their previous record. While this doesn't compare to the record of 40 percent efficiency in traditional silicon solar cells, it shows that black silicon solar cells are now real contenders that could help greatly reduce the cost of solar power in the future.


While doing some research and checking kits for solar panels, found this interesting article. Solar panels that work even on cloudy day... exciting!

Making some plans to try build small hydroponics farm and this might be of very interest, as it would ensure water flow even on cloudy day.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 08:28 AM
Yeah, but remember that there is less sun hitting them on a cloud covered day. At least they are working though. Regular solar cells have way better efficiency on sunny days than cloudy ones because of the design. These having a greater efficiency at lower light means they at least keep producing some electricity.

Efficiency is rated at the amount of energy taken in in respect to light available. There is less light available overall to consider. It is a better system than we have now but it still produces less electricity when it is cloudy but more than present made solar cells when it is cloudy.

So it is good news, but some people might think that they are better than they actually are so I want to inform them of this.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 10:25 AM
These would be great for campers if they make little portable ones for USB chargers. I want to buy one - I hope they start manufacturing them soon.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 12:03 PM
a reply to: SuperFrog

Baby steps.

Eventually we will have cheap and viable solutions which will be reasonably safe to produce at industrial scales.

If the various developers weren't discouraged by the preferential loans and grant funding for unviable competition, we might have a larger set of speculative inventors attacking the problem.

These are not the sorts of things that are solved by big corporations or public institutions. It takes lots of losers to make a winner.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 12:05 PM
Someday all new houses will be built with shingles that double as solar panels, along with a Tesla-style battery pack in the basement. Homes will become mini-power generation facilities...

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 12:24 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

I agree with you Mystik,

Houses should be self sustaining electrically. I like this idea below for windows that act as solar cells.

Super frog Like those stats for Solar cell efficiency? Just wait until the public gets to have what this guys doing with Quantum Solar Cells and QDOTS in their houses for energy production. Won't even need sunlight any light including a glow in the dark strip will work. Does way better than 22 percent efficiency I'm thinking.

Victor Klimov - Head of Spectroscopy and nano-technology at Los Alamos.

His Quantum Solar Cells:

Los Alamos Govt. Website pertaining.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 01:55 PM
a reply to: BASSPLYR

You beat me to the quantum dots!

Still some work before quantum dots can make it to the market place, but I think they will be a game changer once they are out.

posted on May, 21 2015 @ 02:04 PM
a reply to: jrod


posted on May, 22 2015 @ 01:28 AM
a reply to: peskyhumans

These would be great for campers if they make little portable ones for USB chargers. I want to buy one - I hope they start manufacturing them soon.

Here is why that idea will never work...

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