An innovative new film harnesses infrared light to increase the efficiency of solar panels by up to ten percent.
The film was developed by a team from KTH to boost the performance of upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs), which are already used to capture infrared light. Seeing room for improvement, the researchers created a polymer-based thin-film embedded with nanocrystals and an array of microlenses. The film can be applied to a standard solar panel, where it will modulate the infrared light to improve energy conversion efficiency.
According to Professor Hans Ågren, research team leader, “We have achieved a 10 percent increase in efficiency without yet optimizing the technology. With a little more work, we estimate that a 20 to 25 percent increase in efficiency could be achieved.”
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