The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) recently conducted a study in which researchers fabricated an optimal organic solar cell with both a high level of transparency and high power conversion efficiency. This is the latest step in creating cleaner, more affordable, and more ubiquitous renewable energy.
Advantages of Solar Panel
Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun’s light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment.
Solar panels are made of wafer-based silicon solar cells that convert solar radiation into electricity with 15% conversion efficiency. However, there are a few downsides. The panels have to be precisely aligned to receive direct sunlight and take up a tremendous amount of space. Even the most efficient solar panel is limited in its ability to absorb diffused light.
Organic solar cell technology has been around for about thirty years, however nowadays it is starting to attract substantial interest due to its low production cost. While organic cells have not yet reached the efficiency values of silicon based cells, these Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) cells have proven to be lighter in weight, more flexible (they are capable of adapting to curved surfaces), and even more sensitive to low light levels as well as indirect sun light, making them one of the most appealing photovoltaic technologies for many everyday applications. Among such advantages, a property that makes them even more interesting is their potential to be implemented as a semi-transparent device.
However, OPVs, like any other photovoltaic technology achieves its maximum light to electricity conversion efficiency with opaque devices. To turn such cells into transparent ones, the back metal electrode must be thinned down to just a few nanometers, drastically reducing the device’s capacity to collect sunlight. To turn such cells into transparent ones, the back metal electrode must be thinned down to just a few nanometers, drastically reducing the device’s capacity to collect sunlight.
Solar panels are photovoltaic devices that are being used to transfer heat energy from the sun to power electronic machineries like calculators, satellites etc since long. And the most recent development in this field is the transparent solar panels.