Korean researchers develop highly efficient transparent solar cells

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Better ways to harness the power of the sun. That’s among the hottest green energy research
that’s ongoing around the world. A team in Korea has developed a breakthrough
technology Lee Ji-won introduces to us what could be
the next level in solar energy. When people think of solar panels… what
might come to mind is a dark, inflexible object installed on a roof. But the solar panels of today are more transparent
with more applications than ever. Now, a Korean team of researchers says it’s
developed new solar cells that are more transparent and efficient than their predecessors, potentially
allowing households to save energy and money. They could even be used to charge your phone. The team was aiming to narrow the gap between
transparency and efficiency, while also addressing a major obstacle — uneven application of
the material used to coat the cells. Their method of coating the cells allows for
even application, resulting in greater transparency, better conductivity and longer life. “By coating a piece of glass or transparent
plastic with nickel oxide and zinc oxide, we found a way for the solar cell to efficiently
absorb and convert UV rays into solar energy while letting the visible light pass through.” The panels they developed are over 80-percent
transparent and convert 8-percent of the light they take in, which is extremely high compared
to existing solar cells that are either 20-percent transparent or are much less efficient. “The transparent solar cell is also two-sided,
meaning that light can enter from both sides… so when it’s attached to a window, it will
generate energy from the sunlight in the morning.. and from the artificial light inside the room
at night. The team is now working to vary the cell’s
shape, thickness and flexibility… so it can be attached to any object, including cars,
phones and windows… and still function when needed. With the global transparent solar cell market
expected to grow over 17-billion U.S. dollars by 2020, the team says its goal is to commercialize
the solar cell in two years,… offering consumers an environmentally and economically friendly
energy source… as well as a convenient way to charge everyday devices. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.

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