Scientists have found a way to increase solar cell efficiency by up to 30 percent — a breakthrough expected to further reduce the cost of solar energy, according to a study published Tuesday in Advanced Materials.
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and North Carolina State University of U.S. have found a way to change the molecular structure of materials used in producing solar cells to make the organic solar cells surpass silicon based ones in terms of efficiency of generating power.
Organic cells are newer polymer based solar cells which are less efficient than traditional silicon based cells but which have a broader range of uses than silicon cells and are less expensive to manufacture.
The key to the breakthrough is a polymer known as PBT-OP created by the researchers.
The research should allow for more diversity in the application of solar power which in turn is good news for the environment and the financial viability of solar power.