Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Optics For Improved Solar Power Generators

Date:
October 9, 2008
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
Researchers are hoping to achieve higher solar cell efficiency involves using special coatings on solar cells that split light into colors like blue and red, which scientists estimate will increase efficiency by 50 percent.

A few years ago, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched its Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) program. DARPA challenged the industry and the research community to make solar cells more efficient -- as measured by how well a solar cell converts the light it absorbs into electrical energy.

Related Articles


The goal is to be able to provide soldiers in the field with inexpensive portable solar power generators -- the sort that would be no larger than a laptop and would be able to recharge that laptop in an hour or so.

The problem with making such small solar power generators is that even the most advanced solar cells available today are not efficient enough. The highest efficiencies demonstrated so far have been just more than 40 percent, but those demonstrations have taken place in carefully controlled laboratory settings and not with portable field units as the DARPA program calls for.

Besides that, the most efficient laboratory cells rely on expensive-to-manufacture materials that cost some $50,000 to $70,000 per square meter. The sort of commercial solar panels you might buy today to have installed on your rooftop are much cheaper, but they are even less efficient, topping out at 16 to 17 percent. The DARPA program calls for efficiencies of 50 percent.

University of Rochester Professor Duncan Moore is part of a team reaching for DARPA's goal under the VHESC program. Their approach to achieving the higher efficiency involves using special coatings on solar cells that split light into colors like blue and red, which scientists estimate will increase efficiency by 50 percent. They then use different types of solar cell materials that each optimally absorbs energy from a different color light.

Moore's research enhances this further by finding ways to intensify the light. In his Frontiers in Optics talk, Moore will describe how he is designing an optical cover for solar panels that concentrates sunlight -- much as a magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight enough that it can burn wood.

The scientists are presenting their research at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Optical Society (OSA), being held from Oct. 19-23 in Rochester, N.Y.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "New Optics For Improved Solar Power Generators." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203442.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2008, October 9). New Optics For Improved Solar Power Generators. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203442.htm
Optical Society of America. "New Optics For Improved Solar Power Generators." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203442.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins