Improving the organic solar cell efficiency is at the heart of much of the new research for solar energy around the world. Organic solar cells when compared to silicon based solar cells, are lighter, considerable more flexible and easier to manufacture.
Their downside so far has been their compartively low efficiency which requires additional surface area of solar cells to be used.
Researchers are investigating nanotechnology as well as quantum theorey to develop a new generation of organic solar cells that can address the short falls while enhancing thier benefits. Such a break through in organic solar cells could eventually lead to high efficiency cost effective flexible or even printable devices. It may be that this is the path to ubiquitous solar energy technology that is cheaper than generating electricity from fossil fuels. This is game changing and world changing.
Economies where hundreds of millions of people such as India, have no access at all to electricity could very quickly move to such a solar powered solution allowing incredible improvements in their standard of living and availability to quality education.
Solar powered electricity could enable connection to the internet and the global economy.
The New Organic Solar Cell Efficiency
In a paper published in Nature, researchers at the Cavendish Lab used the quantum technique of electron ‘spin’ to enhance the power of organic solar cells, a much cheaper and more flexible alternative to the current commercial silicon-based solar cells. .
To do it, they used lasers and lots of them!
They also enjoy mucking about with liquid nitrogen on occasion, which is how we managed to make this clip.
Find out more here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/el..
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.