Australian photovoltaic researchers have made what's described as a "cool discovery" (pun intended). They have discovered two groundbreaking processes -- singlet fission and tandem solar cells to more efficiently generate solar power and help reduce operating temperatures. Not to mention, it would also keep devices operating for longer periods of time.
Tandem cells, in particular, can be made from a combination of silicon, the most typically utilized photovoltaics materials as well as new compounds such as perovskite nanocrystals. It can comprise a larger bandgap compared to silicon and help the device catch more solar spectrum for energy generation.
Singlet fission, on the other hand, is a method that yields double the electronic charge carriers compared to normal for every photon of the absorbed light.
According to a EurelAlert! report, "tetracene" is used in these devices to transmit the energy produced into silicon by singlet fission.
Tandem Cells and Singlet Fission Processes Combined
Researchers and engineers all over the world are working on the best tactic to combine tandem cells and single fission processes into commercially sustainable devices that can conquest from conventional, single silicon solar cells typically found on rooftops, as well as in large-scale arrays.
A new The Miracle Tech report specified that now, this project which both UNSW, Sydney-based School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering and the ARC Center of Excellence in Exciton Science conducted, has underscored some key advantages to both single fission and tandem cells.
The project's researchers presented that both silicon or perovskite tandem cells and tetracene-based single fission cells will operate at lower temperatures compared to the conventional silicon devices.
This will decrease the effect of impairment from heat on the devices, prolonging their lifespan and decreasing the cost of energy produced.
For instance, a five-to-10-Degree-Celsius reduction in module operating temperature is equivalent to a two-to-four-percent gain in the yearly production of energy.
More so, a lifetime of devices is found in general, to double for every reduction of 10 Degrees Celsius in temperature. This means that, as indicated in this report, a rise in a lifetime of "3.1?years for the tandem cells, and 4.5?years for singlet fission cells."
In the singlet fission cells' case, there is one more benefit. Specifically, when tetracene unavoidably decreases, it turns out to be transparent to solar radiation, enabling the cell to keep on functioning as a conventional silicon device, although one that has originally run at a lower temperature and delivered higher efficiency during its lifecycle's initial phase.
Driver of Next-Gen Tech
According to the work's lead author, Dr. Jessica Yajie, the photovoltaic technologies' commercial value can be increased by either increasing the operational lifespan or the energy conversion.
The latter-mentioned is said to be the main driver for next-generation technologies' development, while little thought has been provided to the probable lifespan advantages.
The lead author added, they demonstrated that such advanced photovoltaic technologies also exhibit ancillary advantages when it comes to enhanced lifespan by running at lower temperatures and more rigidity under degradation, presenting a new model to examine the potential of new solar energy technologies.
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