A team of scientists from Finland’s Aalto University and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have developed the world’s most efficient nanostructured black silicon solar cell, capable of converting 22.1 percent of incident light into electricity.
Incredibly, the team of scientists obliterated the existing record for a comparable cell by 4 percent!
Essentially, when a photon hits the surface of a PV cell, it results in a quantum reaction that spits out an electron.
By adding a new layer to the back surface of the cell, electrons were encouraged to flow through as electricity instead of recombining with the photovoltaic materials at the surface, effectively boosting the cell’s efficiency.
For a more detailed explanation of the full results, check out the full results published HERE.
Black silicon solar cells benefit from their color thanks to an innate ability to generate electricity when the sun is low in the sky, in addition to absorbing more light than other cells.
“This is an advantage particularly in the north, where the sun shines from a low angle for a large part of the year,” explains Professor Hele Savin to PhysOrg. “We have demonstrated that in winter Helsinki, black cells generate considerably more electricity than traditional cells even though both cells have identical efficiency values.”
At the moment, the team of scientists is focusing on creating the new black silicon solar cells at industrial scale.