Student Research Team Creates the Most Efficient Solar Energy Cells Yet
Solar Energy. We use it to power homes, vehicles, aircraft, and satellites in our never ending quest to find the most efficient means of harnessing the sunâs power. However, where solar energy has huge potential and continues to prove itself in various fields, the constant problem of solar cells degrading over time or being less efficient compared to the cost of other energy sources continues to haunt solar energy adopters. To solve those problems, many researchers around the globe are constantly striving to find the best solar energy method possible so that we can use solar power that is both efficient and cost effective.
A group of students at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland have made some progress on a project they believe could result in the creation of the most efficient solar energy cells yet. Using two software programs to create a life like simulation of their solar cell design, the team managed to create a reusable solar cell that maintains a 43.4 percent efficiency rate even after multiple uses. According to the report released by the university, the team broke the world record for the simulation of a hyper-efficient solar cell that had been previously held since 2006 by Boeingâs Spectrolab based in California.
Dr. Jamal Uddin, the professor in charge of the group of students, is a part of the universityâs new nanotechnology department and has been working to create an efficient means of using solar energy to power night vision goggles for the United States Army for some time now. Ideally, these new solar cells could be used as a portable, lightweight and highly efficient means of powering the night vision systems. In hopes of having their new solar cells adopted for use, the team will be presenting their results to a panel of scientists in Fort Detrick at the end of the month.
While they should be satisfied with pushing solar energy to the limit as they already have, the team hopes to achieve an even higher rate of efficiency. Using the research and results they have already gathered, the team hopes to create solar cells that are capable of nearly fifty percent efficiency by the end of this year. Should they be successful in this endeavor, they would be breaking their own record and setting an even higher bar for other teams to try and pass.
With solar cells becoming smaller and increasingly more powerful and efficient, there may come a time when a whole variety of electronics could be powered by small, reusable solar charging packs. As teams of researchers continue to strive for excellence in solar energy fields, there is no telling where it could lead and just what technology sectors could be changed by the introduction of small, efficient solar charging systems.
Photo Credit: Flickr