With support from the Australian Solar Institute, Associate Professor Tim Schmidt from the University’s School of Chemistry, together with the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy, has developed a “photochemical up conversion” that allows energy, normally lost in solar cells, to be turned into electricity.
This new breakthrough means that low cost solar cells suitable for rooftop panels could reach up to 40 percent efficiency in the near future.
Using the new upconversion technique (a process which harvests the part of the solar spectrum currently unused by solar cells) will also eliminates the need for costly redevelopment of solar cells.
As Associate Professor Tim Schmidt explains, ”We are able to boost efficiency by forcing two energy-poor red photons in the cell to join and make one energy-rich yellow photon that can capture light, which is then turned into electricity,”The joint research project is the result of a collaboration between Sydney University’s School of Chemistry, together with the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy and is a great example of a successful collaboration between solar researchers.
It’s also great to see results like this, that will help accelerate the pace of commercialisation solar technologies while also eventually making solar electricity more affordable.
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