Colorful Glass Delivers Massive Solar Energy Boost
Now the extinction of conventional energy sources are not oh so distant future happenings, scientists are working overtime to generate alternative clean energy sources. Researchers all over the world are trying to improve upon the shortcomings of non conventional energy sources. We know that sunlight energy is captured by solar panels and then this energy gets transformed into electricity for our use. Efforts are continuously on to improve the existing solar panels and trap as much solar energy as is possible and minimize the loss.
In the 70s researchers were trying to use colored solar panels to capture maximum sunlight, contain it and ultimately transform it into electricity. But what happened really was loss-absorption-reemission cycle. Once the sunlight is trapped inside, it again can be reabsorbed by another dye molecule on its exit. If more of the sunlight found its way out of the glass panel and lost then naturally the convertible efficiency would be low. Scientists are concerned with sunlight transmitted to the edge of the glass panel. Until now there has been no viable solution to this persistent problem.
Now scholars at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to trap maximum sunlight into solar panels and improve its much needed efficiency and take care of the esthetically inclined consumers who don’t want to see the same glass panel lining every rooftop in the area. This can be achieved by colored dyes mixed glass which can direct sunlight to the edge of the glass in a cost effective and practical way. The MIT researchers are using “solar concentrators” — an improved version over the 70s era. These solar concentrators can grab the solar light and keep it too. The concentrator can send the light at a much longer distance than past models have achieved, shooting the energy straight into solar cells along the glass’s edge. The solar concentrator can produce 10 times more energy than what current systems can provide — and, it can achieve it at a fraction of the price. The MIT team is optimistic that the products could become commercially available within the next three years.