Solar panel efficiency boosted by 30 per cent

1st Jun 2012

Improving the efficiency of solar panels has long been the pursuit of scientists – and a consortium of universities is claiming success.

RMIT University joined forces with a number of other institutions to carry out research into the effectiveness of solar cells, which led them to increase the technology's efficiency by 30 per cent.

The theory is that the more capable solar panels are at generating renewable electricity, the more popular they will become – which can only benefit the environment.

This particular breakthrough was made after the team used dye-sensitised solar cells as opposed to silicon, which tends to be the material of choice for manufacturers.

The dye is able to absorb light energy and produce a current…hey presto, solar electricity is generated!

If the team has managed to enhance efficiency by 30 per cent, it has surpassed the 13.4 per cent improvement recently achieved by SoloPower, a San Jose-based manufacturer of thin film solar cells and modules.

Not only did the researchers aim to make the cells more productive, but they also hoped to make the technology cheaper in the process.

Posted by Mike Peacock


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