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Silicon Nanocrystals for Superefficient Solar Cells

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posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 09:49 PM
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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found a way to make solar energy cells more efficient using silicon nanocrystals.

Silicon Nanocrystals for Superefficient Solar Cells

By generating multiple electrons from high-energy photons, solar cells made of silicon nanocrystals could theoretically convert more than 40 percent of the energy in light into electrical power, says Arthur Nozik, a senior research fellow at NREL. In contrast, today's flat rooftop solar panels are at best just over 20 percent efficient and are theoretically limited to about 30 percent efficiency. Concentrating sunlight with mirrors or lenses could raise that figure to about 40 percent, but the same approach could boost the efficiency of a silicon-nanocrystal solar cell to well over 60 percent, Nozik says.

What's more, solar cells made of silicon nanocrystals could prove to be cheap, giving them a significant advantage over other approaches to high-efficiency solar cells.



This is a big step for solar energy, taking solar cells efficiency from 40% to 60%.

This is where our government needs to spend more money, scientists are finding ways to get solar cells "a little" more efficient all the time. If these scientists were given more money to work on these projects, who knows how efficient and cheaply they could produce solar energy.



[edit on 21/8/07 by Keyhole]




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