HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
MIT Research Could Dramatically Improve Solar Cell Efficiency
5/24/2013

An artist's 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)
An artist’s 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)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Progress
naperlou   5/24/2013 9:11:33 AM
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.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Progress
NadineJ   5/24/2013 10:56:13 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Progress
Ann R. Thryft   5/24/2013 12:50:39 PM
NO RATINGS
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.



tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Progress
tekochip   5/25/2013 10:09:50 AM
NO RATINGS
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.


Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Cost
Greg M. Jung   5/25/2013 1:40:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Great breakthrough.  I was especially interested when the article noted that this new efficiency could possibly be achieve with minimal cost increase.  Very encouraging.

 

taimoortariq
User Rank
Gold
Re: Progress
taimoortariq   5/25/2013 3:19:09 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for the the informative article Elizabeth. I think it is a huge discovery and a big advancement. And it can further lead to more research in this area, because the results from this experiment are very positive. But still the change in percentage from 25% to around 30% efficiency is not that huge to cause a big difference.

Electricity produced from solar energy is still not comparable to that produced from other resources like hydropower and batteries etc. For example, one cannot run high load house appliances like air conditioner, referigerator etc from solar cells. So still there is a long way to go. Nonetheless, a great acheivement for future research.

far911
User Rank
Silver
This is one area of research....
far911   5/26/2013 5:20:14 PM
NO RATINGS
This is one area of research that I believe is eventually going to pay off significantly in terms of conserving natural energy resources.The efficiency gains may not be huge for now, but it's a step in the right direction. Ultimately, it's bringing us closer to an eco-friendly environment.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Progress
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   5/26/2013 7:09:18 PM
While I'm no Physicist or Chemist, I'm having a hard time understanding 1.09 electrons per photon.

Putting that aside, it was 1983 when I wrote my Thesis for my Bachelor's degree on the topic of Photovoltaic cell manufacturing.  At the time, the exchange elements being used were Boron and Silicone, and the energy efficiency yield was generally accepted to be at about 10%.

So, today, 30 years later, its now 30%, and MIT considers this a breakthrough.  Seems like an average efficiency improvement of about 1% per year.  ( * sigh * )  It's a long, slow road, but I guess it's still progress.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Progress
Elizabeth M   5/27/2013 4:57:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Agree, Lou, perhaps the headline should have been changed during editing before the story was posted. But I think the idea is this potentially could set a precedent for the future development of solar cells in a way that's very different from what's happening now, so in some ways I guess the case could be made for a "dramatic" improvement. Point taken, though.

g_ost
User Rank
Gold
Re: Progress
g_ost   5/27/2013 6:59:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Pentacene, this compound, which is a purple powder, slowly degrades upon exposure to air and light. This is greath ideea to improve overall solar cells effciency but is just a research result. I hope it will find a way (somehow) to production or will trigger additional ideeas in this direction....

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Thanksgiving is a time for family. A time for togetherness. A time for… tech?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Researchers have developed a new flexible fabric that integrates both movement and sensors, introducing new potential for technology-embedded clothing and soft robots.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service