Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New more efficient solar cells patented in Spain

source: http://technology4life.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/new-more-efficient-solar-cells-patented-in-spain/

(Photo: 3d-photonic-crystal).

A team of researchers at the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has patented a new type of solar cells whose efficiency is up to 30% higher than conventional solar cells. Their photonic crystal is composed of a nanostructured surface which increases the transmission of light inside the device.

CSIC researcher and project leader, Pablo Aitor Postigo, who works at the Institute of Microelectronics of Madrid (IMM-CSIC), points out the advantages of these cells: “They are more efficient in harnessing the sun’s rays. Current systems can only take advantage of 30% of solar energy to convert it into electricity. Our solar cells will enhance the effectiveness of these systems by up to 30%. “

The techniques used by these scientists to produce the crystal can be applied industrially. The large-scale manufacture of these new solar cells would have the same cost as conventional ones. In addition, they require less semiconductor material to get the same amount of energy.

Postigo has worked together with several researchers from the Institute of Microelectronics of Madrid (CSIC) and the Solar Energy Institute and the University of Pavia in Italy.

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