by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 14, 2015
Scientists have developed a new hybrid, solar-energy system that harnesses the full spectrum of the sun's radiation by pairing a photovoltaic cell with polymer films.
The films convert the light that goes unused by the solar cell into heat and then converts the heat into electricity. They report on their device, which produces a voltage more than five times higher than other hybrid systems, in the journal ACS Nano.
Solar cells today are getting better at converting sunlight to electricity, but commercial panels still harvest only part of the radiation they're exposed to.
Scientists are working to change this using various methods. One approach is to hybridize solar cells with different materials to capture more of the sun's energy. Eunkyoung Kim and colleagues turned to a clear, conductive polymer known as PEDOT to try to accomplish this.
The researchers layered a dye-sensitized solar cell on top of a PEDOT film, which heats up in response to light. Below that, they added a pyroelectric thin film and a thermoelectric device, both of which convert heat into electricity.
The efficiency of all components working together was more than 20 percent higher than the solar cell alone. With that boost, the system could operate an LED lamp and an electrochromic display.
American Chemical Society
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|