MIT Research Could Dramatically Improve Solar Cell Efficiency
An artistís rendering of the extraction of electrons from a solar cell during a photo incident. Researchers at MIT have proven that this occurrence can knock loose more than one electron -- achieving a singlet exciton fission process -- breaking the previous limit and paving the way to improve the efficiency of solar cells beyond the current 34 percent theoretical limit. (Source: MIT/Christine Daniloff)
My guess is that the big difference between 25 and 30 percent will be the cost? Right now the threshold of pain for panel efficiency is about 15%. Yes, you can get a 25% panel, but the cost begins to rise sharply. Maybe the new material will allow for a cost-effective 30% panel.
Thanks for covering this, Elizabeth. Sounds like an important step forward for solar power. I'm not clear how the increase from 25 to 30 percent efficiency qualifies as "huge," but if efficiency could be pushed even further, beyond 30 percent as the article mentions, that's significant.
Agreed. Many titles here use hyperbole. Words like dramatically or "best...ever" can create high expectations. The researchers are very excited about it. As I always say, I'd like to see more analysis on the site.
This is moving in the right direction. Let's see where it goes.
Elizabeth, well this is something. I think the headline on the article overstates the potential. It looks like a 9% increase in electron production. This is good, but not the quite as amazing as I thought when I read the title.
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