In a development that makes an inexpensive, more flexible sort of solar cell commercially practical, researchers from the University of Michigan have exhibited organic solar cells that can attain 15% efficiency. With a specified lifetime of 20 Years and 15% efficiency, the team estimates organic solar cells can generate electricity at a price of below 7 cents per kWh.
Carbon-based organic solar cells can be economically produced in rolls that are slender enough to curve and bend within clothing or around structures, and made any color, even translucent, to merge into their surroundings. In spite of these benefits, organic solar cells have fallen short of the efficiency needed to contend with conventional energy resources.
To spring them up from this runnel, the team merged several developments in process and design. Primarily, they developed a system that unites specialized layers to take up infrared as well as visible light. Basically, they piled 2 organic solar cells—first capable of taking up light from the visible band beginning at 350 nm in wavelength and the second capable of taking up near-infrared light in wavelength up to 950 nm.
Mounting the cells needed a breakthrough in the procedure. The researchers designed intersecting layers that thwart harm to the first cell and still enable electrical charges and light to pass through. Lastly, the researchers showed that their new process, design, and materials have a high fabrication yield of more than 95%. This implies the team fruitfully produced nearly all devices devoid of short circuits and is significant for scaling up manufacture to an industrial level.
In spite of setting record efficiency, the researchers consider they can thrust their development even further. Apart from this new development, an ultra-thin organic solar cell has been designed by a team of Japanese researchers that can be heat-printed onto fabrics similar to a T-shirt design.