Device could coat windows, smartphone screens with energy-harvesting material
Nearly doubling the efficiency of a breakthrough photovoltaic cell they created last year, UCLA researchers have developed a two-layer, see-through solar film that could be placed on windows, sunroofs, smartphone displays and other surfaces to harvest energy from the sun.
The new device is composed of two thin polymer solar cells that collect sunlight and convert it to power. It’s more efficient than previous devices, the researchers say, because its two cells absorb more light than single-layer solar devices, because it uses light from a wider portion of the solar spectrum, and because it incorporates a layer of novel materials between the two cells to reduce energy loss.
While a tandem-structure transparent organic photovoltaic (TOPV) device developed at UCLA in 2012 converts about 4 percent of the energy it receives from the sun into electric power (its “conversion rate”), the new tandem device — which uses a combination of transparent and semi-transparent cells — achieves a conversion rate of 7.3 percent.
Researchers led by Yang Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr., Professor of Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said the new cells could serve as a power-generating layer on windows and smartphone displays without compromising users’ ability to see through the surface. The cells can be produced so that they appear light gray, green or brown, and so can blend with the color and design features of buildings and surfaces.
“Using two solar cells with the new interfacial materials in between produces close to two times the energy we originally observed,” said Yang, who is also director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. “We anticipate this device will offer new directions for solar cells, including the creation of solar windows on homes and office buildings.”
The tandem polymer solar cells are made of a photoactive plastic. A single-cell device absorbs only about 40 percent of the infrared light that passes through. The tandem device — which includes a cell composed of a new infrared-sensitive polymer developed by UCLA researchers — absorbs up to 80 percent of infrared light plus a small amount of visible light.
Chun-Chao Chen, a graduate student in the UCLA materials science and engineering department who is the paper’s primary author, said using transparent and semi-transparent cells together increases the device’s efficiency, and that the materials were processed at low temperatures, making them relatively easy to manufacture.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Midweek deal roundup: $35 charging mirror, $50 drum kit and 66 feet of solar fairy lights for $20on February 24, 2021 at 2:58 pm
Buy all three items and you can throw a drum performance on your front lawn at dusk. The mirror will help you apply makeup for your KISS cover band.
- Reply to ‘Ideal solar cell efficiencies’on February 24, 2021 at 12:02 pm
Thus, while the undisputed elegance of the SQ model results from describing the solar cell only via its input and output balance, the model contains strong implications on what happens inside the cell ...
- Ideal solar cell efficiencieson February 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm
The key underpinning principles of the SQ paper are that the maximum efficiency of a solar cell depends solely on the photon fluxes of the incident and emitted radiation, and that light absorption by ...
- Researchers improve efficiency of next-generation solar cell materialon February 24, 2021 at 8:12 am
MIT researchers have devised a design for perovskite solar cells that pushes the material to match or exceed the efficiency of today’s typical silicon cell.
- New research could accelerate perovskite solar cell adoptionon February 24, 2021 at 2:58 am
Scientists at The University of Manchester have found a way to accelerate the uptake of solar technology, by increasing the environmental safety of perovskite solar cells.
- Cooking Up Efficient Perovskite Solar Cellson February 23, 2021 at 2:15 am
The perovskite solar cells that Eva Unger and her team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) are researching have efficiencies approaching those for cells made of crystalline silicon. But ...
- Global Biohybrid Solar Cell Market 2020 Competitive Dynamics, Growth Analysis, Segmentation and Worldwide Players Strategies up to 2025on February 22, 2021 at 9:14 pm
MarketsandResearch.biz has announced the addition of a new report entitled Global Biohybrid Solar Cell Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 that provides a ...
- The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cellson February 22, 2021 at 3:59 pm
A long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from ...
- The best materials for carrier multiplication in solar cellson February 19, 2021 at 3:20 am
Researchers in the Netherlands have sought to identify all those semiconductor materials that may make the application of carrier multiplication in photovoltaics much more than a mere suggestion.
- Perovskite solar cell with 21% efficiency includes tech to prevent lead leakson February 19, 2021 at 12:09 am
U.K. scientists have used mesoporous scaffolds based on hydroxyapatite nanoparticles – blended with titanium oxide nanoparticles – to create a mechanism that prevents lead leakage in perovskite solar ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Design and optimisation of magnetically-tunable hybrid piezoelectric-triboelectric energy harvesteron February 24, 2021 at 2:49 am
To resolve this issue, various studies have been carried out for the integration of built-in, nano-sized energy generator into the mobile devices 2. The development of mobile devices equipped with ...
- Organic photovoltaics for simultaneous energy harvesting and high-speed MIMO optical wireless communications | Light: Science & Applicationson February 23, 2021 at 5:37 am
We show that organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are suitable for high-speed optical wireless data receivers that can also harvest power. In addition, these OPVs are of particular interest for indoor ...
- How Plug Power is Bringing Green Hydrogen Power to North Americaon February 23, 2021 at 2:54 am
To reduce the environmental burden of hydrogen energy production, companies such as Plug Power and Brookfield Renewable are opening the way for green hydrogen energy production to become a reality.
- Vivakor and TBT Group Sign Exclusive Agreement to Enable Wireless Sensors for Roadwayson February 22, 2021 at 5:36 am
(OTC PINK:VIVK) ("Vivakor"), a socially responsible operator, acquirer and developer of clean energy technologies and environmental solutions, primarily focused on soil remediation, today announced ...
- Harvesting Useful Products from Microbial Growthon February 19, 2021 at 7:34 am
While such efforts generally came to naught, researchers today are having some success in extracting a variety of useful products like aviation fuels, lubricants, solvents, food additives, and ...
- Waste into wealth: Harvesting useful products from microbial growthon February 18, 2021 at 7:30 am
Ancient alchemists dreamed of transforming base materials like lead into gold and other valuable commodities. While such efforts generally came to naught, researchers today are having some success in ...
- Global energy majors lead pivot to Eavor's geothermal solution with USD$40 million investmenton February 15, 2021 at 11:03 pm
Eavor Technologies Inc., the leader in scalable geothermal technology, has completed a USD$40 million (CAD$50.7 ...
- Is Vulcan Energy’s lithium utopia too good to be true?on February 14, 2021 at 10:17 am
At a time of green shoots in the battery minerals sector, some lithium experts fear Vulcan Energy’s amazing share price rally is more a case of tulip mania.
- Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here’s whyon February 13, 2021 at 12:15 am
The world’s most forbidding deserts could be the best places on Earth for harvesting solar power – the most abundant and clean source of energy we have.
- Rubber in Engineering Group to hold webinar on green energy challenges for elastomerson February 12, 2021 at 12:53 pm
LONDON—The Rubber in Engineering Group of the IoM3 will run a webinar March 19 on elastomer use in sustainable energy generation. Led by Julien Ramier and Alan Bickley, the afternoon technical ...