In a new study, a team of scientists from the United Kingdom, Portugal and Brazil found that etching shallow grating lines on Solar Panels can generate 125% current in crystalline silicon (c-Si).
Christian Schuster, a photovoltaic researcher at the University of York, explained: “We have discovered a simple way to improve the absorption efficiency of thin Solar Panels. Research has shown that our technique can actually be compared with the design of more complex absorption enhancement devices. Comparable, but also can absorb more plane light and reflect less."
The team said that so far, the simple grating design has only achieved a small amount of energy gains. This has led to theoretically more complex structural adjustments, not to mention various solar-based alternative designs, including anti-solar panels, light-gathering algae and transparent solar panels.
Although each discovery is worth looking forward to, Schuster's team said that a very simple adjustment to the existing Solar Panel technology can significantly improve their ability to absorb sunlight.
Researchers did not focus on new structures based on natural textures or computational algorithms, but focused on determining which core factors can provide optimized patterns for the scattering and diffraction of sunlight.
Their goal is to make the Solar Panel absorb more energy by capturing more sunlight while making itself reflect less.
Their model shows that grating lines arranged in a simple periodic, quasi-random structure optimize the performance of the "photonic domain": the area in the photonic structure in which the basic diffractive elements are periodically arranged in a one-dimensional manner.
In the experiment, the team simulated the photonic domain performance of the pattern, and the solar panel was made of a crystalline silicon plate that was only 1 micron thick.
The results show that the grating line with a random rotating pattern of repeating units can generate more current than any conventional Solar Panel, and the energy generated by it is about 125% of that of a conventional solar cell without a grid line design.
In addition, due to its inherent simplicity, the team stated that a checkerboard-like design may be easier to industrially produce and stronger than other more complex nanostructured Solar Panels.
The researchers admit that in the industrial manufacturing process (depending on certain materials used to make and encapsulate the battery), the effect of the finished product may not be as good as the sample in the laboratory. Changing the etching depth or size of the plate will have an effect. But the design principles they pointed out here may have a positive impact on Solar Panel and related fields-such as the design of sound insulation panels, windproof panels, and non-slip surfaces.