NewEnergyNews: Research Reveals New Potential For Solar

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    Thursday, June 13, 2019

    Research Reveals New Potential For Solar

    After 40 Years of Searching, Scientists Identify The Key Flaw in Solar Panel Efficiency David Nield, 8 June 2019 (ScienceAlert)

    “…[S]cientists just solved a 40-year-old mystery around one of the key obstacles to increased [solar photovoltaic panel] efficiency…[A] material defect in silicon used to produce solar cells that has previously gone undetected…could be responsible for the 2 percent efficiency drop that solar cells can see in the first hours of use…Multiplied by the increasing number of panels installed at solar farms around the world, [Light Induced Degradation (LID)] equals a significant cost in gigawatts that non-renewable energy sources have to make up for…[T]he estimated loss in efficiency worldwide from LID is estimated to equate to more energy than can be generated by the UK's 15 nuclear power plants…The new discovery could help scientists make up some of that shortfall…

    To find what 270 research papers across four decades had previously been unable to determine, the latest study used an electrical and optical technique called deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS)…[It found that as] the electronic charge in the solar cells gets transformed into sunlight, the flow of electrons gets trapped; in turn, that reduces the level of electrical power that can be produced…This defect lies dormant until the solar panel gets heated…[H]eating the material in the dark, a process often used to remove traps from silicon, seems to reverse the degradation…The work to push solar panel efficiency rates higher continues, with breakthroughs continuing to happen in the lab, and nature offering up plenty of efficiency tips…” click here for more

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