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Near Perfect Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles

A new antireflective coating developed by researchers at Rensselaer could help to

A new antireflective coating developed by researchers at Rensselaer

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered, developed, and demonstrated a new method for overcoming two major hurdles facing solar energy. By developing a new anti-reflective coating that boosts the amount of sunlight captured by solar panels by 96% efficiency AND allowing those panels to absorb the entire solar spectrum from nearly any angle, the research team has moved academia and industry closer to realizing high-efficiency, cost-effective solar power.

Solar panels convert the most light into electricity when the sun shines directly on them. Untreated silicon solar cells absorb only 67.4% of sunlight and as soon as it wanes, so does efficiency. Meaning that nearly one-third (at peak) of that sunlight is reflected away and thus unharvestable.

Typical anti-reflective coatings are engineered to transmit light of one particular wavelength. Lead researcher Shawn-Yu Lin says the new coating stacks seven of these layers, one on top of the other, in such a way that each layer enhances the anti-reflective properties of the layer below it. These additional layers also help to “bend” the flow of sunlight to an angle that augments the coating’s anti-reflective properties. This means that each layer not only transmits sunlight, it also helps to capture any light that may have otherwise been reflected off of the layers below. The seven layers of film consists of nanoscopic silicon and titanium-oxide rods arranged in increasing densities, with the topmost nearly as porous as air. This funnel-like setup captures light from almost every direction and focuses it onto the photovoltaic panel while also inhibiting reflection.

The film, which is about one hundredth as thick as a human hair, could easily be applied to any solar panel, and would help collect 20% more light while eliminating the need for the expensive hardware usually needed to rotate solar panels as the sun moves. Before Lin can sell the film, he must find a way to protect the outermost layers from the wind and heat, a process that he says may take another year.

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11 Responses to “Near Perfect Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles”

  1. whamx.com Says:

    Near Perfect Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles | Forced Green…

    By developing a new anti-reflective coating that boosts the amount of sunlight captured by solar panels by 96% efficiency AND allowing those panels to absorb the entire solar spectrum from nearly any angle…

  2. Boris A local SEO Says:

    I appreciate reading new and informative articles like this. Hopefully, these technologies can start to make it into regular use and have a significant impact on our blue planets energy requirements.

    Boris A local SEOs last blog post..The 109 Day Link Building Explosion Day 38

  3. Barbara Says:

    Hi Linda,

    This is awesome news. I like it too!

    Barbaras last blog post..Relax With Barbara On Wednesday 24

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … yes it is… things are starting to bust loose. If we all know, we can get it done.

  5. wilson Says:

    WoW, this technology is awesome, Linda. It’s totally a leap and boundaries in the solar generating energy…

    wilsons last blog post..Your Body Type Determine Your Healthy Condition

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … It seems that there is something new all of the time. It will be an awesome time to see all of the inventions.

  7. Architectural Technologist - Solar Power @ Konstrukshon Weblog Says:

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  8. Some Advantages of Garden Solar Lights | Says:

    […] Near Perfect Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles (forcedgreen.com) var addthis_pub = ‘ksandor’; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ’email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more’; Uncategorized outdoor lantern lights, Solar Garden, solar garden lighting, solar garden lights, Solar Garden Lights The, solar lantern lights, solar powered garden lights […]

  9. work at home blog Says:

    I am a person that always aware about our environment. Hope this technology can help on impact on our blue planets energy requirements.
    .-= work at home blog´s last blog ..New program at google home affiliate network – November 18, 2009 =-.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi WAHB … It should be able to help all of us.

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