Solar Power Breakthrough

solar-cell-panelWith the rising energy costs around the world it’s time to look at different sources of power. I do not believe there is some magic fuel that will fix anything and it’s time to use natural energy like that from the sun and wind. Solar panels tend to be on the pricey side of several thousand pound which doesn’t seem that attractive to me. However, some research at a university in the US has managed to tackle two major hurdles that could see the price per kilowatt dramatically drop.

The two hurdles are the ability to capture more light spectrum and capturing the excited electrons. Malcolm Chisholm and his team at Ohio State University managed to create a hybrid material that captures the whole spectrum of light’s energy and it also manages to absorb that energy before it moves back in to it’s previous state (technical term??).

‘They saw something very unusual. The molecules didn’t just fluoresce as some solar cell materials do. They phosphoresced as well. Both luminous effects are caused by a material absorbing and emitting energy, but phosphorescence lasts much longer.

To their surprise, the chemists found that the new material was emitting electrons in two different energy states ” one called a singlet state, and the other a triplet state. Both energy states are useful for solar cell applications, and the triplet state lasts much longer than the singlet state.

Electrons in the singlet state stayed free for up to 12 picoseconds, or trillionths of a second ” not unusual compared to some solar cell materials. But electrons in the triplet state stayed free 7 million times longer ” up to 83 microseconds, or millionths of a second.

When they deposited the molecules in a thin film, similar to how they might be arranged in an actual solar cell, the triplet states lasted even longer: 200 microseconds.

Should this research continue to turn out well it would appear that the price of solar electrical energy to our homes will drop significantly.

Via: GoPaulTech

Speak Your Mind