Studies by various researchers show that to improve the efficiency of the solar panels; they can layer more materials on the silicon to trap more energy from the sun radiation. The researchers identified a precise layering technique that produces solar panels 1.5 times more reliable than the conventional panels. The lead researcher from the University of Illinois, Minjoo Larry Lee, published the study’s outcome in a journal for scientists to further the research.
Lee explained that silicon solar panels are reliable because they are available at low prices and can convert over 10% of the solar radiation to electricity. Lee is an engineering professor who has ties with the Nanotechnology Lab and Holonyak Micro. He added that they are sorting out ways to ensure that the panels are effective and affordable to customers. The researchers have been layering silicon with other materials like gallium fused with arsenic phosphide to develop a suitable material for absorption of sun radiations and their transmission to the storage media. Both layering elements absorb more light energy and lose less heat.
Lee explained that the fabrication technique would inform various tests with different elements to determine the most appropriate material that solves the problem of heat loss and less absorption. The solar cells must be durable enough to prevent solar panels’ frequent purchases from replacing the worn-out ones.
Although gallium arsenide phosphide is the best material for layering in consideration of its properties, it is more expensive to obtain the material and conduct the mass development of layering materials. Therefore, Lee and his team utilize the cheapest silicon of low quality in their research.
Lee submitted that one of the challenges during layering is interferon materials coming in at the interfaces or the borders joining the silicon and the layering material. Lee admitted that there are risks in every transition, which they hope to resolve in this case before they move to the next trial. For instance, Shizhao Fan, who engineered this study report, stated that he is designing an interface for the layering process.
Lee hopes that they can obtain more efficient solar panels without making them bulkier than they were previously. In this quest, the researchers hope to display a commercialization path that entrepreneurs in the solar panel production sector can take. Finally, the researchers hope that their study can provide direction in developing solar panels that are efficient and affordable. Nevertheless, they are open to critique to make necessary adjustments to obtain a working solution.