Solar Cell from Berkeley Lab/University of Illinois Absorbs High-Energy Light at 30-fold Higher Concentration than Conventional Cells
By combining designer quantum dot light-emitters with spectrally matched photonic mirrors, a team of scientists with Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect blue photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded. This breakthrough paves the way for the future development of low-cost solar cells that efficiently utilize the high-energy part of the solar spectrum.
“We’ve achieved a luminescent concentration ratio greater than 30 with an optical efficiency of 82-percent for blue photons,” says Berkeley Lab director Paul Alivisatos, who is also the Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of California Berkeley, and director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute (ENSI), was the co-leader of this research. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest luminescent concentration factor in literature to date.”
Alivisatos and Ralph Nuzzo of the University of Illinois are the corresponding authors of a paper in ACS Photonics describing this research entitled “Quantum Dot Luminescent Concentrator Cavity Exhibiting 30-fold Concentration.” Noah Bronstein, a member of Alivisatos’s research group, is one of three lead authors along with Yuan Yao and Lu Xu. Other co-authors are Erin O’Brien, Alexander Powers and Vivian Ferry.
The solar energy industry in the United States is soaring with the number of photovoltaic installations having grown from generating 1.2 gigawatts of electricity in 2008 to generating 20-plus gigawatts today, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Still, nearly 70-percent of the electricity generated in this country continues to come from fossil fuels. Low-cost alternatives to today’s photovoltaic solar panels are needed for the immense advantages of solar power to be fully realized. One promising alternative has been luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).
Unlike conventional solar cells that directly absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity, an LSC absorbs the light on a plate embedded with highly efficient light-emitters called “lumophores” that then re-emit the absorbed light at longer wavelengths, a process known as the Stokes shift. This re-emitted light is directed to a micro-solar cell for conversion to electricity. Because the plate is much larger than the micro-solar cell, the solar energy hitting the cell is highly concentrated.
With a sufficient concentration factor, only small amounts of expensive III?V photovoltaic materials are needed to collect light from an inexpensive luminescent waveguide. However, the concentration factor and collection efficiency of the molecular dyes that up until now have been used as lumophores are limited by parasitic losses, including non-unity quantum yields of the lumophores, imperfect light trapping within the waveguide, and reabsorption and scattering of propagating photons.
“We replaced the molecular dyes in previous LSC systems with core/shell nanoparticles composed of cadmium selenide (CdSe) cores and cadmium sulfide (CdS) shells that increase the Stokes shift while reducing photon re-absorption,” says Bronstein.
“The CdSe/CdS nanoparticles enabled us to decouple absorption from emission energy and volume, which in turn allowed us to balance absorption and scattering to obtain the optimum nanoparticle,” he says. “Our use of photonic mirrors that are carefully matched to the narrow bandwidth of our quantum dot lumophores allowed us to achieve waveguide efficiency exceeding the limit imposed by total internal reflection.”
In their ACS Photonics paper, the collaborators express confidence that future LSC devices will achieve even higher concentration ratios through improvements to the luminescence quantum yield, waveguide geometry, and photonic mirror design.
Read more: Made from Solar Concentrate
The Latest on: Solar Cells
via Google News
The Latest on: Solar Cells
- San Diego ranked 2nd in U.S. for solar panel usageon May 29, 2020 at 2:41 pm
The report also lists San Diego among its “Solar Stars,” cities with 50 or more watts of solar photovoltaic capacity installed per capita.
- San Diego ranks second nationally in solar panel usageon May 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm
The city of San Diego ranks second in the nation in↵both per capita and total installation and use of solar panels, according to a↵new report released by Environment America.↵ ...
- Gephardt: How solar panels affect loans, refinancing and selling your homeon May 29, 2020 at 9:41 am
Home solar panels are enjoying their day in the sun. A recent Pew Research Center survey found nearly half of homeowners have given serious thought to adding solar power in the past year.
- A Bold Supply Chain Strategy Takes a Solar Panel Manufacturing Firm to New Heights | Read the Complete Success Story on Inventory Management Solution to Know Howon May 29, 2020 at 9:01 am
The client is a solar panel manufacturing firm based out of Sweden. Owing to rapidly rising raw materials prices and supply chain complexities, the solar panel manufacturing firm faced difficulties in ...
- Canadian Solar (CSIQ) Q1 Earnings Top, Revenues Rise Y/Yon May 29, 2020 at 5:08 am
Including one-time items, GAAP earnings came in at $1.84 per share in the quarter under reviewagainst loss of 29 cents in first-quarter 2019. This solar cell manufacturer’s total revenues of $825.6 ...
- First Solar Stock Set To Surge To Pre-Covid Peak Of $57?on May 29, 2020 at 4:34 am
Comparing the trend in First Solar stockover recent months with its performance during and after the Great Recession of 2008, we believe that the stock can potentially gain around 20% once fears ...
- Yorktown: Proposed solar panels at sports complex could mean savings on ConEd billson May 27, 2020 at 3:44 pm
Consolidated Edison customers in town could get 10% off their electric bills if a solar project eyed for the parking area of the Granite Knolls sports complex comes to fruition. And the town could ...
- All Energy Solar Is Back on Top (Of Roofs), Installing Panels to Meet Solar Demandon May 27, 2020 at 10:36 am
All Energy Solar, has gone back to work installing and maintaining solar systems for residential and commercial properties in multiple states — including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New ...
- Solar Energy Panel Market Advancement Strategy, world Top Players, Analysis and Forecast To 2026on May 27, 2020 at 4:51 am
Global Solar Energy Panel Market Research Report 2020-2026 is a historical overview and in-depth study on the current & future market of the Solar Energy Panel industry. The report represents a basic ...
- Smart Data Solutions' Solar Panel Installation Is Completeon May 27, 2020 at 4:12 am
PRNewswire/ -- Smart Data Solutions, a MN based collateral-processing and workflow automation service, has installed over 400 solar panels to the roof ...
via Bing News