Will New Technologies Give Critical Boost to Solar Power?

Today, despite recent progress, solar power accounts for about one percent of the world’s energy mix. Yet the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that solar energy, most of it generated by decentralized “rooftop” photovoltaic systems, could well become the world’s single biggest source of electricity by mid-century. 
 
So how do we get from here to there? 
 
The answer, according to scientists and engineers, lies in a new generation of super-efficient, low-cost sunlight harvesters that take up where the recent flood of cheap silicon panels leaves off. New designs and novel solar materials have recently been setting new efficiency records seemingly every week. Although research and development of solar power still falls far short of where scientists and engineers say it needs to be, innovators are making steady progress in creating a new generation of materials that can harvest the sun’s energy far more efficiently than traditional silicon photovoltaic cells.
 
Among the most promising technologies are multi-junction cells with layers of light-harvesters that each gather energy from a separate slice of the solar spectrum, super-efficient semiconductor materials like perovskite and gallium-arsenide, and cells made with tiny but powerful solar-absorbing “quantum dots.” Technical hurdles, such as making new materials able to withstand the elements, remain. Nonetheless, researchers say, efforts now underway could begin to dramatically increase solar power generation within a decade or two. Cont'd...
 

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Kipp & Zonen WS50PV Compact All-in-One Weather Sensor

Kipp & Zonen WS50PV Compact All-in-One Weather Sensor

The WS50PV is an affordable, compact all-in-one weather sensor measuring the most critical parameters for commercial and industrial PV monitoring. Equipped with a suite of professional measuring sensors, the WS50PV can handle air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind direction, and wind speed in one efficient housing to simplify mounting. Add an external temperature or rain sensor to the single-wire digital Modbus interface for fast and easy integration. The WS50PV is the tool you need for unlocking solar energy performance.