Imagine increasing solar panel efficiency a dramatic 38 %? They have just done this by injecting fluorescent dye into solar panels.
So what’s the catch? I was looking for the catch because that is a darn right big number and definitely helps in slashing the cost per square foot of solar panels.
Scientists at Yale actually coated the panels with fluorescent dye but I said injecting because it sounds a bit more like mad science.
Polymer solar cells are great because they are flexible, cheap, and thin but they only convert about 50 % of solar heat into electricity.
This has all changed because when coating the cells with dye they all the sudden compete with the more expensive panels but their benefits remain the same.
Scientifically what is happening when the dye is applied is that the organic squaraine dye increases light absorption and recycles electrons, which speeds up the light to energy conversion process.
This new technology will be used in the production of future solar cells and if your interested in learning more about it you can find the entire research article in the Nature Photonics journal.