August 17, 2015

...AND CHEAPER...:

A way for solar cells to capture more sunlight : Researchers find a more efficient method of converting solar rays into electricity. (Viviane Richter, 8/17/15, Cosmos)

When a light photon hits a solar cell, it knocks free an electron that drives an electrical "photovoltaic" circuit. But only energetic, short-wavelength photons carry enough punch to do this. Almost 20% of the sunlight striking a silicon solar cell passes straight through because the wavelengths are too long and their energy is too low to budge electrons.

But Bardeen and colleagues have figured out how to turn low energy infrared rays into a higher energy form. Theoretically, this approach could broaden the proportion of sunlight that can be captured, so that only 5% is missed, he says.

Posted by at August 17, 2015 1:48 PM
  

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