Connect with us

Solar Energy

The mystery of the missing energy solved in solar cells

Published

on

The mystery of the missing energy solved in solar cells

The efficiency of solar cells can be increased by exploiting a phenomenon known as singlet fission. However, unexplained energy losses during the reaction have until now been a major problem. A research group led by scientists at Linkoping University, Sweden, has discovered what happens during singlet fission and where the lost energy goes. The results have been published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.

Solar energy is one of the most important fossil-free and eco-friendly sustainable sources of electricity. The silicon-based solar cells currently in use can at most use approximately 33% of the energy in sunlight and convert it to electricity. This is because the packets of light, or photons, in the sun’s beams have an energy that is either too low to be absorbed by the solar cell, or too high, so that part of the energy is dissipated to waste heat. This maximum theoretical efficiency is known as the Shockley-Queisser limit. In practice, the efficiency of modern solar cells is 20-25%.

However, a phenomenon in molecular photophysics known as singlet fission can allow photons with higher energy to be used and converted to electricity without heat loss. In recent years, singlet fission has attracted increasing attention from scientists, and intense activity is under way to develop the optimal material. However, unexplained energy losses during singlet fission have until now made it difficult to design such a material. Researchers have not been able to agree on the origin of these energy losses.

Now, researchers at Linkoping University, together with colleagues in Cambridge, Oxford, Donostia and Barcelona, have discovered where the energy goes during singlet fission.

“Singlet fission takes place in less than a nanosecond, and this makes it extremely difficult to measure. Our discovery allows us to open the black box and see where the energy goes during the reaction. In this way we will eventually be able to optimise the material to increase the efficiency of solar cells”, says Yuttapoom Puttisong, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linkoping University.

Part of the energy disappears in the form of an intermediate bright state, and this is a problem that must be solved to achieve efficient singlet fission. The discovery of where the energy goes is a major step on the way to significantly higher solar cell efficiency – from the current 33% to over 40%.

The researchers used a refined magneto-optical transient method to identify the location of energy loss. This technique has unique advantages in that it can examine the ‘fingerprint’ of the singlet fission reaction at a nanosecond timescale. A monoclinic crystal of a polyene, diphenyl hexatriene (DPH), was used in this study.

However, this new technique can be used to study singlet fission in a broader material library. Yuqing Huang is a former doctoral student in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linkoping University, and first author of the article now published in a newly established journal, Cell Reports Physical Science:

“The actual singlet fission process takes place in the crystalline material. If we can optimise this material to retain as much as possible of the energy from the singlet fission, we will be significantly closer to application in practice. In addition, the singlet fission material is solution processable, which makes it cheap to manufacture and suitable for integration with existing solar cell technology”, says Yuqing Huang.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Solar Energy

New Layered Perovskite Structure Explored for Enhanced Optical Properties

Published

on

By

New Layered Perovskite Structure Explored for Enhanced Optical Properties


New Layered Perovskite Structure Explored for Enhanced Optical Properties

by Riko Seibo

Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Apr 19, 2024






Perovskites are critically important in the field of materials science due to their distinct and varied properties arising from their unique crystal structure. These properties have potential revolutionary applications in advanced technology areas. A method to harness these properties involves precise manipulation of defects within the perovskite structure, such as missing atoms or substituting one type of atom for another.

In the realm of oxide chemistry, it’s well-established that such defects in oxides can self-organize within the crystal structure when they reach a certain threshold, leading to enhanced material properties. While this phenomenon of defect ordering is well-documented in perovskite oxides, it has not been as prevalent in hybrid halide perovskites, which consist of an organic component, a metal, and a halogen.



A recent study highlighted in ACS Materials Letters reveals findings by Associate Professor Takafumi Yamamoto and his team at Tokyo Institute of Technology, who discovered a novel defect-ordered layered halide perovskite. The research builds on earlier work where the introduction of thiocyanate ions (SCN-) into the FAPbI3 lattice led to structured defect formations. Dr. Yamamoto suggests, “Increasing the SCN concentration might amplify the formation of these defect structures, similar to those observed in vacancy-ordered oxide perovskites.”



The research involved synthesizing FAPbI3 in powder and crystal forms, using specific ratios of SCN-. When a high enough SCN- ratio was used, the resulting perovskite was FA4Pb2I7.5(SCN)0.5. This compound displayed organized defects throughout its layers-more so than its predecessor, FA6Pb4I13.5(SCN)0.5, where fewer defects were organized.



The study identifies this material as part of a ‘homologous series’-a sequence where systematic alterations to the chemical formula yield predictable changes in properties, here observed as variations in the optical bandgap correlated with defect concentration.



“This marks the first instance of a homologous series based on defect ordering in hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites,” notes Dr. Yamamoto. “Our findings set a foundational strategy for manipulating defect structures to adjust the optical properties of perovskites, offering a promising avenue for materials science innovation.”



The implications of this research are significant, potentially paving the way for new perovskite materials with tailored properties for future technological applications.



Research Report:FA4Pb2I7.5(SCN)0.5: n = 3 Member of Perovskite Homologous Series FAn+1Pbn-1I3n-1.5(SCN)0.5 with Organized Defects


Related Links

Tokyo Institute of Technology

All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com





Source link

Continue Reading

Solar Energy

Solar energy adoption challenges in rural Ethiopia

Published

on

By

Solar energy adoption challenges in rural Ethiopia


Solar energy adoption challenges in rural Ethiopia

by Clarence Oxford

Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 19, 2024






Despite decreasing costs and increasing accessibility of solar home systems, significant obstacles hinder their widespread use in remote areas of developing countries, such as Ethiopia, where they could greatly improve health and education.

Inexpensive, yet uncertified and inferior solar panels, along with limited government engagement in rural energy transition, impede access to dependable electricity for these communities.



When homes do incorporate solar energy, it replaces harmful kerosene lamps, offering a healthier, eco-friendly alternative and enabling children to study after dark.



“Understanding the dynamics of renewable energy adoption in rural sectors of the Global South is crucial,” said Yujin Lee, a doctoral student at Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning and first author of a related study in Energy Policy.



Chuan Liao, the study’s senior author and assistant professor in the Department of Global Development at Cornell, emphasized, “The global shift to renewable and clean energy sources must include remote and rural populations in the developing world.”



Ethiopia’s national electrification strategy aims to power all homes within 25 kilometers of the grid by 2030. Those further away are slated for long-term off-grid solutions.



However, the prevalence of low-quality solar panels, which often fail and contribute to environmental waste, poses a barrier to adoption. Additionally, the infrequency of government visits to rural, off-grid or road-less villages leads to misinformed policies.



“Government reports often do not reflect the true situation in rural areas,” noted Lee, who found actual solar adoption rates to be markedly lower than official claims.



Lee advocates for increased governmental presence in rural communities, enhanced public engagement in energy management, and improved communication between governments, private sectors, international organizations, and end-users to support sustainable energy solutions.


Related Links

Cornell University

All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com





Source link

Continue Reading

Solar Energy

The role of Floating Solar in achieving Africa’s energy targets as an alternative to dams

Published

on

By

The role of Floating Solar in achieving Africa’s energy targets as an alternative to dams


The role of Floating Solar in achieving Africa’s energy targets as an alternative to dams

by Hugo Ritmico

Madrid, Spain (SPX) Apr 19, 2024






Researchers from Politecnico di Milano have identified floating solar photovoltaics (FPV) as a viable alternative to traditional hydropower in meeting Africa’s energy goals, according to a new study published in Nature Energy. The study shows that FPV installed at existing major reservoirs could generate 20-100% of the electricity projected from planned hydropower dams across Africa.

The research, conducted using a comprehensive energy planning model, reveals that FPV is not only cost-effective compared to other renewable resources but also plays a crucial role in Africa’s energy future. “Floating solar has emerged as cost-competitive and could potentially eliminate the need for many new dams,” stated Wyatt Arnold, the lead author of the study.



A detailed analysis of the transboundary Zambezi watercourse indicated that capital investments for new dams could be more effectively utilized by constructing fewer reservoirs and augmenting them with floating solar panels. This strategy could decrease interannual variability in electricity supply by 12% and enhance resilience against long-term droughts exacerbated by climate change.



“Adopting floating solar can provide developing economies with a stable energy supply less susceptible to hydrological changes,” explained Prof. Andrea Castelletti. “Additionally, it mitigates adverse effects on downstream communities and river ecosystems compared to new dam projects.”



The study also underscores the significance of integrated resource planning and the need to consider transboundary effects in sustainable development. It promotes multisector modeling that integrates energy, agriculture, environmental protection, and economic growth within river basins.



Prof. Matteo Giuliani noted, “The strategic deployment of floating solar might outweigh potential drawbacks on reservoir uses like fishing or recreation. Yet, ongoing enhancements in FPV technology and effective planning are essential for its responsible implementation.”



While floating solar offers substantial environmental benefits, the study acknowledges challenges in technology and social acceptance that may limit its deployment. Nevertheless, these challenges are likely to be less impactful than the negative consequences of new hydropower projects, which can disrupt river ecologies, displace populations, and increase regional conflicts over water use.



Research Report:Floating solar emerges as a sustainable energy solution for Africa’s future


Related Links

Politecnico di Milano

All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.