Researchers at the University of Connecticut have created a gel that improves the ability of solar cells to absorb energy from sunlight, according to PhysOrg.
Professor Challa Kumar says that sunlight is emitted over a broad swatch of wavelengths, but today’s solar cells are limited in how many they can access. Broadening the available spectrum, therefore, leads to greater energy yields.
The story says that the blue part of the spectrum is one of those regions that can’t be accessed now. Kumar’s technology can collect this light and convert it into energy via a process called “artificial photosynthesis.” Artificial photosynthesis is made possible be a mix of biodegradable productst aht coat the solar cell’s light emitting diodes, the story said.
Increasing the efficiency of solar cells is a very important and competitive area. In another recent development, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $449,000 to the company Dyesol to commercialize its perovskite solar cell.
The story at pv magazine says that perovskite is abundant, cheaper than silicon and may provide better performance in low light conditions and integrate more easily into windows, facades and other building elements.