" A carefully designed layer of silica glass would not degrade the performance of the solar cell, but it would enhance radiation at the predetermined thermal wavelengths to send the solar cell's heat away more effectively, Fan concluded."
Washington, July 23 - What if a solar cell could keep itself cool even in the blistering heat of the sun?

By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers has found a way to let solar cells cool themselves by shedding unwanted thermal radiation.

This paves the way for developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells.

For every one-degree Celsius increase in temperature, the efficiency of a solar cell declines by about half a percent.

That decline is very significant. The solar cell industry invests significant amounts of capital to generate improvements in efficiency, informed Aaswath Raman, a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University.

Under normal operating conditions, solar cells can easily reach temperatures of 55 degrees Celsius or more.

Actively cooling solar cells by ventilation or coolants would be prohibitively expensive and at odds with the need to optimize exposure to the sun.

The newly-proposed design embeds tiny pyramid- and cone-shaped structures on an incredibly thin layer of silica glass.

With this, researchers found a way of redirecting unwanted heat - in the form of infrared radiation - from the surface of solar cells through the atmosphere and back into space.

Our new approach can lower the operating temperature of solar cells passively, improving energy conversion efficiency significantly and increasing the life expectancy of solar cells, explained Linxiao Zhu, a physicist at Stanford University.

These two benefits should enable the continued success and adoption of solar cell technology, added Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford.

Silica is transparent to visible light, but it is also possible to fine-tune how it bends and refracts light of specific wavelengths.

A carefully designed layer of silica glass would not degrade the performance of the solar cell, but it would enhance radiation at the predetermined thermal wavelengths to send the solar cell's heat away more effectively, Fan concluded.

The research was published in the journal Optica.


comments powered by Disqus
Read more on:
 ANHUI (2662 views)
 

PERMALINK

http://www.nerve.in/news:2535002390366
You can quote the permanent link above for a direct link to the story. We do not archive or expire our news stories.


STORY OPTIONS
  Email this story to a friend
  XML feed for Americas


 
COPYRIGHTS INFORMATION
All rights reserved for news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.
Contact Nerve Staff for any feedback, corrections and omissions in news stories.
 

All rights reserved for the news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.