Solar panel is a power generation system that converts sunlight into electricity, though like all mechatronic systems, excess heat creates impediments to the efficiency of power generation, and the blazing hot summertime can also become an enemy to photovoltaic modules. Australian scientists recently found out that the two new types of solar technology, singlet fission solar and tandem solar, are equipped with the advantage in low operating temperature, which helps to extend the lifespan of solar panels, and elevates commercial values to a great extent.
The so-called singlet fission solar technology utilizes singlet exciton fission to create multiple triple excitons when excitons are split from one to two upon absorption of photons, and high energy photons would then derive two pairs of electron hole, whereas tandem solar concatenates two different solar materials, such as polysilicon solar and perovskite solar, to allow the two materials to absorb various spectra, which increases the overall power generation volume.
These two particular technologies have received a substantial level of attention as solar candidates, and now Australian scientists have once again excavated their advantages, where the operating temperature of tandem solar cells formed with perovskite and polysilicon, as well as singlet fission solar with organic tetracene, is much lower than that of solar panels.
Researchers pointed out that the operating speed of these solar modules is 5-10°C lower than that of general solar panels, which equals an additional 2-4% of energy each year. The lifespan of solar panels extends twofold whenever the operating temperature reduces by 10°C, and the research team indicates that this specific advantage allows an extra lifespan of 3.1 years for tandem cells, and 4.5 years for singlet fission solar.
The research team also discovered another advantage of singlet fission solar. It was known in the past that tetracene contains triplet excitons, and absorbs light blue and green wavelengths, where the silicon layer would absorb photons that are lower in energy. Now, the team has found out that silicon solar cells would still operate normally even when tetracene becomes transparent after degradation amidst sunlight and the environment, where tetracene provides a relatively cooler operating environment for solar panels, and elevates conversion efficiency.
Jessica Yajie Jiang, first author of the research, believes that these advantages are able to once again ascend the commercial values of emerging solar technology, and not a lot of focus is placed on the length of lifespan with the current development emphasis in the next solar technology being the elevation of conversion efficiency. The research team has now proved that the next generation photovoltaic technology is capable of low operating temperature and prolonged lifespan, and has incorporated pristine solar evaluation methods accordingly.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/Bureau of Land Management CC BY 2.0)