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Solar Cell Cooling: Increased Efficiency & Durability

Solar Cell Cooling: Increased Efficiency & Durability

By Danny Kasalek

The technology associated with solar power cells is constantly evolving and developing. One of the foremost challenges to developers in the solar cell industry has always been solar cell cooling; for the twin benefits of efficiency and durability.

Active cooling methods such as ventilation or coolants are not practical for a variety of reasons. Chiefly, they are prohibitive in cost and they also inhibit exposure to the rays the cells are designed to receive.

Stanford University researchers believe they have created solutions to these challenges, and in doing so have created a solar cell system which is more efficient and long lasting. They have done this by layering the cells with a protective coating of silica. This has the effect of warding off the unwanted thermal radiation which cause heat increases.

The innovative approach uses a pattern of tiny cone and pyramid shapes within the silica coating to repel infrared waves while still gathering energy generating light.

Although the Stanford University research team recognize they still have some way to go before their technology becomes commercially viable, they believe they are on the path to this reality. Their confidence stems from the conviction that they are creating a solar panel which not only gathers more power, but has a longer usable life span.

If their foresight eventually proves to be true then the technology they are developing will certainly represent a significant step in the evolution of solar power technology.

For more information please visit the open-access journal Optica to read the researcher team’s full report.