Munir Nayfeh at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign whose work is covered by a university news release has shown a nice evolution in solar cell development. The link is:

http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/07/0820solarcells.html

The most newsworthy aspect of the report is the leading remark “Placing a film of silicon nanoparticles onto a solar cell can boost power, reduce heat and prolong the cell’s life.” That is very strong good news. Deeper down the release says, “The process of coating the solar cells with silicon nanoparticles could be easily incorporated into the manufacturing process with little additional cost.” Now its sit up and take notice time.

The application is said to push the voltage rather than “current” which we’ll assume they meant amperage. But a watt is formed up by volts times amps so I’ll take the volts quite happily because that can only help the total watts which is what we’re trying to get. That and voltage increases would be expected to reduce costs for the hardware for transforming the electricity for use by the local system. More voltage is a good thing in solar panels.

With solar panels in development that are getting to 40% plus efficiency as other announcements have it, another possible 10% is a very nice addition in the visible range and a surprising 67% in the ultraviolet range.

It looks like Nayfeh has been at this for some years, as the release hints that the result is another step in process of Nayfeh’s research. So with this review and our part in getting the some notoriety I congratulate Munir Nayfeh and his team.

It will be interesting to see how close to 100% solar can get. With this quality of research adding such a leap, the practical investment prospects in solar is getting very attractive.


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