Scientists announce solar panels could be cheaper
As we all know, solar panels give electricity by absorbing sunlight and that is only half of the process. After the electrons are energizes, they must be transferred in the same direction, a process that is typically accomplished with the help of a panel with layers of two kinds of material.
But a recent study made public by the journal Nature, the scientists reported that they found a way to simplify the process with the help of a solar ceramic material that can take care of both processes.
Until now the researchers have developed only just tablet-size bits of the new ceramic but they are sure it can be turned into panels that can produce energy and are more cost effective that the traditional silicon based ones.
The scientist announced that their creation would be more environmentally friendly as is made of potassium, niobium, barium and nickel as opposed to “thin-film” solar panels made of rare and toxic materials. Silicon also needs a lot of processing and manufacturing to be used in solar panels. The researchers say their combination of materials will become cheaper.
“We’ve opened up a new category of ways of making a solar cell,” announced Penn chemistry professor Andrew M. Rappe, who supervised modeling and computation for the project.
Still, the general view is optimistic as solar power generation is only going up driven in part by government incentives.
Theoretically, this ceramic material could bring a 50% efficiency, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
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