Across the globe, efforts are being made to go and decrease our carbon footprint. It is becoming more and more affordable to use solar power in comparison to fossil fuel sources. Solar power technology is experiencing a huge boost in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Of course, we are not quite where we want to be when it comes to total efficiency with solar power, and that’s why scientists are coming up with new techniques – they are figuring out how to “funnel” .

Panels

Scientists at the University of Exeter believe there is the potential to obtain three times the amount of solar energy produced by more traditional systems, as per Nature Communications. They believe in the possibility of the size of a book being utilized to provide power to an entire home. The lead author of the paper published by Nature Communications, Adolfo de Sanctis, compared the idea to pouring liquid into a container. He shared his belief that this method is more efficient if a funnel is used. The discovery of atomically thin materials is what has made this concept possible, because conventional semiconductors are not effective in the same manner.

So what is the atomically thin semiconductor? It is called hafnium disulphide, and it can be oxidized with the utilization of a high-intensity UV laser. Scientists were able to engineer an electric field which allows electrical charges to be easily extracted because the field funnels electrical charges to a certain part of the chip.

What exactly does this mean? Basically, energy from the sun can be funneled straight into cells such as batteries or solar panels. Thus, you end up with solar panels the size of a book generating enough energy to power a home.

Here is how the numbers add up: this new method could convert approximately 60pc of power from the sun into solar energy that is usable (by comparison, 20pc is found in current systems). In other words, current solar cells can convert roughly 20 percent of energy received from the sun, whereas this innovative technique could convert roughly 60 percent through efficient funneling.

This technology can be taken to solar heights, as it can be implemented into current solar panels. Of course, Earth’s rotation around the sun can pose challenges, but pioneers such as are trying to find ways to work around this to harness solar energy.

Using solar panels smaller than current models to power homes is innovative and beneficial. Discovering new ways to convert light into power is just one more step we are taking in an effort to lessen our carbon footprint. Solar energy has major environmental benefits – it is no wonder so much research is going into it. Have you noticed any differences being made in your community in terms of renewable, clean energy or solar power? Follow solar news to stay in the know!

Sources:

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/machines/solar-panels-major-breakthrough

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/book-sized-solar-panels-could-power-a-whole-home-in-new-breakthrough/

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