New, more efficient solar cells patented in Spain
A team of researchers at the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has patented a new type of solar cells whose efficiency is up to 30% higher than conventional solar cells. Their photonic crystal is composed of a nanostructured surface which increases the transmission of light inside the device.
CSIC researcher and project leader, Pablo Aitor Postigo, who works at the Institute of Microelectronics of Madrid (IMM-CSIC), points out the advantages of these cells: “They are more efficient in harnessing the sun’s rays. Current systems can only take advantage of 30% of solar energy to convert it into electricity. Our solar cells will enhance the effectiveness of these systems by up to 30%.”
The techniques used by these scientists to produce the crystal can be applied industrially. The large-scale manufacture of these new solar cells would have the same cost as conventional ones. In addition, they require less semiconductor material to get the same amount of energy.