Researchers have discovered an unexpected material that could improve the efficiency of solar panels: “Effectively absorbs ultraviolet… and near-infrared wavelengths”

Although solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity, heat can actually reduce the efficiency of the solar cells. A team of researchers from South Korea has found a surprising solution: fish oil.
To prevent solar cells from overheating, researchers have developed decoupled photovoltaic thermal systems that use liquids to filter excess heat and light. By eliminating ultraviolet light that can overheat solar cells, liquid filters can keep solar cells cool while storing heat for later use.
Decoupled photovoltaic thermal systems traditionally use water or nanoparticle solutions as fluid filters. The problem is that water and nanoparticle solutions do not filter ultraviolet rays very well.
“Decoupled photovoltaic thermal systems use liquid filters to absorb ineffective wavelengths such as ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared rays. However, water, a popular filter, cannot absorb ultraviolet rays effectively, limiting the system’s performance,” – Korea Maritime University (KMOU) . A team of researchers from CleanTechnica explained.
The KMOU team found that fish oil is very good at filtering out excess light. While most water-based decoupling systems operate at 79.3% efficiency, the fish oil-based system developed by the KMOU team achieved 84.4% efficiency. For comparison, the team measured an off-grid solar cell operating at 18% efficiency and an off-grid solar thermal system operating at 70.9% efficiency.
“[Fish oil] emulsion filters effectively absorb ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared wavelengths that do not contribute to the energy production of photovoltaic modules and convert them into thermal energy,” the team’s report states.
Decoupled photovoltaic thermal systems can provide both heat and electricity. “The proposed system can even operate under certain requirements and environmental conditions. For example, in the summer, the liquid in the liquid filter can be bypassed to maximize power generation, and in the winter, the liquid filter can capture thermal energy for heating,” the KMOU team reports.
As demand for renewable energy grows, researchers are working tirelessly to make solar energy more affordable, sustainable and efficient. Rugged perovskite solar cells are highly efficient and affordable, and silicon nanoparticles can convert low-energy light to high-energy light. The KMOU team’s findings represent another step forward in making energy efficiency more affordable.
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Post time: Nov-28-2023