New solar-power device to use heat to enhance efficiency
A new approach to harvesting solar energy could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell.
Researchers said that this technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use and improve performance as it makes it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste.
Solar thermophotovoltaic systems could provide a way to circumvent a theoretical limit, called the Shockley-Queisser limit, on the energy-conversion efficiency of semiconductor-based photovoltaic devices, but with TPV systems, the efficiency would be significantly higher.
The study was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
(Posted on 21-01-2014)