Solar Cells of the Future

Dr. Martin Aagesen from the Nano-Science Center and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen has discovered a new crystalline material. The crystalline material, called nano flakes, is more efficient than solar panels, converting almost twice the amount of solar energy into electricity. These nano flakes may potentially revolutionize the use of solar energy, allowing ordinary households to benefit from clean and cheap electricity.
 Solar cells of the future
The future looks promising for
solar cells (credit: Wikipedia – GNU)

Today, less than 1 percent of the world’s electricity is derived from solar energy because it is difficult and expensive to convert large amounts of solar energy into electricity using the existing technology. Aagesen’s discovery may significantly boost the exploitation of solar energy, as it is believed that nano flakes have the potential to convert up to 30 percent of the solar energy they are exposed to into electricity, almost twice the amount achieved by commercial photovoltaic panels.


Aagesen came across a perfect crystalline structure, which is a very rare sight. He found that this perfect crystalline structure could absorb and convert a large part of the light spectrum, making it the perfect solar cell. The discovery of the new material has sparked a great deal of international attention. The potential of this discovery is unmistakable – it can reduce the solar cell production costs and due to the use of nanotechnology, enables using less of the expensive semiconducting silicon in the production process. Martin Aagesen is also the director of the new Danish start-up company SunFlake, which is pursuing the development of this innovative solar technology. 

TFOT recently covered Nanosolar’s cheap technology for cost efficient solar energy and Nokia’s Eco Sensor Concept – a new ‘green’ phone, as well as Hyperion’s nuclear batteries.
 
More information on the new nano flake technology can be found on the University of Copenhagen website.