Friday, August 28, 2009

A team of researchers from University of New South Wales have managed to covert 43 per cent of solar power into energy in an experiment that approaches the renewable energy solution in an unique way.

Solar cell researchers have established a new benchmark in converting 43 percent of solar power into energy, the highest ever by any group globally, thanks to a new approach.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) team, led by Martin Green, a professor, combined with two US groups to demonstrate a multi-cell combination setting a new benchmark for converting sunlight into energy.

“Because sunlight is made up of many colours of different energy, ranging from the high energy ultraviolet to the low energy infrared, a combination of solar cells of different materials can convert sunlight more efficiently than any single cell,” Green said.

Green, with colleague Anita Ho-Baillie, led the team that developed a silicon cell optimised to capture light at the red and near-infrared end of the spectrum. That cell was able to convert up to 46 percent of light into electricity, said a UNSW release.

When combined with four other cells, each optimised for different parts of the solar spectrum, the five-cell combination converted 43 percent of the sunlight into electricity.


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