Hot Nanotubes Helping Solar Panels Capture More Sunlight

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A debate over how to brighten solar power’s future in Florida

A debate over how to brighten solar power’s future in Florida

Lower-cost panels and more accessible financing make solar more viable

November 24, 2015Read more

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are seeking to increase the efficiency of solar cells by helping them take advantage of more of the sun’s rays.

MIT scientists are testing solar cells with a layer of carbon nanotubes that “make it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste,” according to a statement yesterday from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university.

Standard polysilicon photovoltaic cells don’t “respond” to the entire spectrum of sunlight, limiting the amount of photons they’re able to convert into electricity. Scientists have said standard polysilicon has a theoretical maximum efficiency of 33.7 percent. The nanotube technology may be used to surpass that limit, according to Evelyn Wang, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering.


Read the full article at Bloomberg