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Nanowire Solar Cells Energy Conversion Efficiency Could Be 17.8%

Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-11-13 09:25:02
nanowire solar cellsResearchers at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, said in a statement that the energy conversion efficiency could be 17.8% through nanowire solar cells. Although this figure broke the previous record of 15.3%, but it is still far below the theoretical limit of the battery 46%.

This record-breaking achievement comes from a doctoral dissertation by Dick van Dam. When we contacted van Dam for more details on the devices he made, he explained that since the work had not yet been published, he was limited in terms of what he could say.

However, in the press release, van Dam said he hopes the record will be refreshed in the next few years. This is a reasonable prediction from the development of nanowires since the birth of solar powered portable generator cells and their huge performance boosts.

Three years ago, a joint research team in Denmark, Switzerland, proposed a method of using nanowires to overcome the Shockley-Quayle limit of solar cells. The so-called Shockley-Kui Yis limit means that all solar energy is converted into electricity by a single p-n junction, the highest efficiency is only 33.7%.

By the Danish Swiss team proposed nanowire solar cells through the use of the unique properties of nanowires, concentrating capacity is 15 times the normal light intensity is expected to break through the Shockley-Kuisse limit. Since the diameter of the nanowires is smaller than the wavelength of the incident solar light, the resonance of the light around the nanowires can be induced, which resonates to convert the light into electric energy. Since that research, nanowires have a stable new application in nanowire solar cells that promise higher energy conversion efficiencies.

Van Dam said in an IEEE Spectrum e-mail interview that the nanowires he made were the same as ordinary solar power batteries cells, but that the solid layers, which typically absorb light and convert it into electricity, are replaced by vertical layers of nanowires. Under normal circumstances, improve the performance of these batteries, mainly to increase the internal radiation efficiency of the battery, corresponding to reduce the number of defects, which is the basic optimization. For commercial availability, this process needs to be optimized to reduce production costs. In this regard, the manufacture of nanowire-based solar cells without the use of thick substrates may be an important step.
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