Imagine this: solar panels that produce twice the normal capacity of silicon panels. Yes, such technology is now at hand. Thanks to Pentacene, this mix of organic-inorganic layers make such level of energy efficiency possible.
This revolutionary method of tapping solar energy, published by Nature Materials, highlights how pentacene works differently from the silicon sheets. In the traditional semiconductor solar panel, electrons in the solar cells get “excited” and move from one layer of the solar cell to the nest. With silicon, one photon excites just one electron. With pentacene, however, one photon excites 2 electrons, so that’s twice the energy efficieny.
Less minimal resistance, efficiency increases by 95% with pentacene. And that improvement is nearly impossible to achieve with the conventional solar cells. The good thing about this new material is that it can be coated onto the silicon panels, thus creating a well-integrated system that efficiently converts solar energy to usable electricity.
With such positive developments in solar panel technology, there seems to be no turning back to the times when the viability of solar photovoltaic cells was still a heated debate.
The new discovery will also make solar hardware worthy of competing with already well-established hydroelectric and wind power. According to the International Energy Agency, solar energy could become the largest source of electricity by 2050. And with the recent technology discovered, doubts on IEA’s hopes are now fading. Even in 2010 alone, U.S. saw a quadrupling in solar production since 2010, according to CNBC.
Then there’s Elon Musk’s Tesla Powerwall battery, which could revolutionize energy storage systems in homes and businesses. Already, Powerwall pre-orders exceeded the company’s expectations. Bundle this energy storage pack with the new breed of solar cells and you’re sure to get more savings by switching to solar energy.
This upward trend in solar technology means the concept of reliable renewable energy gets a big boost both for the residential and business sector. It’s only a matter of time when this technology becomes available in every country and within reach by every solar power installer in your area. That’s good news for us, the average consumers, too!