Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity
Using two types of “designer” quantum dots, researchers are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and create shading and insulation for good measure. It’s all made possible by a new window architecture which utilizes two different layers of low-cost quantum dots tuned to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum.
“Because of the the strong performance we can achieve with low-cost, solution-processable materials, these quantum-dot-based double-pane windows and even more complex luminescent solar concentrators offer a new way to bring down the cost of solar electricity,” said lead researcher Victor Klimov. “The approach complements existing photovoltaic technology by adding high-efficiency sunlight collectors to existing solar panels or integrating them as semitransparent windows into a building’s architecture.”
The key to this advance is “solar-spectrum splitting,” which allows one to process separately higher- and lower-energy solar photons. The higher-energy photons can generate a higher photovoltage, which could boost the overall power output. This approach also improves the photocurrent as the dots used in the front layer are virtually “reabsorption free.”
To achieve this, the Los Alamos team incorporates into quantum dots ions of manganese that serve as highly emissive impurities. Light absorbed by the quantum dots activates these impurities. Following activation, the manganese ions emit light at energies below the quantum-dot absorption onset. This trick allows for almost complete elimination of losses due to self-absorption by the quantum dots.
To transform a window into a tandem luminescent sunlight collector, the Los Alamos team deposits a layer of highly emissive manganese-doped quantum dots onto the surface of the front glass pane and a layer of copper indium selenide quantum dots onto the surface of the back pane. The front layer absorbs the blue and ultraviolet portions of the solar spectrum, while the rest of the spectrum is picked up by the bottom layer.
Following absorption, the dot re-emits a photon at a longer wavelength, and then the re-emitted light is guided by total internal reflection to the glass edges of the window. There, solar cells integrated into the window frame collect the light and convert it to electricty.
The Latest on: Double-pane solar windows
- 5 important tips to stay cool without air conditioningon July 1, 2021 at 9:06 am
About 76% of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows turns into heat and raises the temperature in your home, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). This is called solar heat ...
- 5 important tips to stay cool without air conditioningon July 1, 2021 at 7:56 am
Fans can help you stay cool, but they won't lower the temperature of an entire room. fizkes/Shutterstock To stay cool without AC, there are a few ...
- Kelly Bullis: Energy tax credits are still aroundon June 26, 2021 at 8:03 am
The Residential Energy Credit offers up to 10% of the cost of qualified energy saving items added to your principal residence.
- Why triple-pane windows are the best option for Canadian homeson May 31, 2021 at 6:01 am
Double-pane windows have these insulating gases too ... This measures the balance among a window’s U-factor (transfer of heat), its solar heat gain (how much heat from the sun passes through the ...
- Why triple-pane windows are the best option for Canadian homeson May 30, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Double-pane windows have these insulating gases too ... This measures the balance among a window’s U-factor (transfer of heat), its solar heat gain (how much heat from the sun passes through ...
- Chris Mabee: A New Shade Of Green: Today’s Standards For Home Efficiencyon May 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The closer a score is to “0” the better, as a “0” ranking would mean the home produces as much energy through renewable resources, such as solar ... Double-pane windows – Having two ...
- Energy Efficient Window Attachmentson April 4, 2021 at 11:47 am
In cooling seasons, about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat ... coatings are effective at improving thermal performance of windows and reducing solar ...
- Choosing the Right Replacement Windows for Your Homeon August 17, 2020 at 10:33 pm
That’s only about $27 to $111 per year for a 2,000-square-foot, single-story home with storm or double-pane windows ... the better the window is at keeping heat in. Solar heat gain coefficient ...
- How to Save Energy With Double-Pane Windowson September 25, 2019 at 11:23 am
Ultraviolet Protection -- Recommendations for Solar Control). Choose double-pane windows filled with argon or krypton between the panes to provide extra insulation. Look for windows with low ...
via Google News and Bing News