Solar Photovoltaic Panel Market to Develop as Researchers Create Solar Materials that are Extremely Flexible and Thin, thus, Enabling Several Mobile Applications

Posted On April 16, 2022     

Solar engineers are competing to generate nearly impossibly thin, flexible solar panels. Engineers anticipate them being deployed in many mobile applications, ranging from self-powered wearable devices and sensors to lightweight aircraft and electric cars.

Working towards the same goal, a research team has successfully attained record efficiencies in a promising class of solar materials. This innovation can significantly impact the Solar Photovoltaic Panel Market since it is relevant for applications such as drones, electric cars, and the ability to charge expeditionary equipment while on the move.

One of the most significant advantages of these transition metal dichalcogenides – or TMDs – is that they absorb incredibly high quantities of sunlight that reaches their surface compared to other solar materials.

The new prototype achieves 5.1 percent efficiency in power conversion. However, scientists may attain 27 percent efficiency with electrical and optical improvements. That value would be competitive with today's top solar panels, silicon included.

Furthermore, the prototype has a 100-fold higher power-to-weight ratio than any other TMD currently in development. The prototype has a specific power to measure electrical power output per unit weight of the solar cell. The team found it to be 4.4 watts per gram. This was comparable to other thin-film solar cells on the market today, including different experimental prototypes.

The most positive aspect of TMD solar cells is their thinness, which helps them save money and reduce material usage. It also makes them lightweight and flexible. Thus, they can be made into irregular shapes such as the human body, an airplane wing, or a vehicle roof. The team created an active array that is only some hundred nanometers thick.

The array includes photovoltaic TMD tungsten diselenide and gold contacts bridged by a single atom thick layer of conducting graphene. These all are held together by a flexible, skin-like polymer and an anti-reflective coating that increases light absorption.

TMD cells are less than six microns thick when fully formed, around the thickness of a light office garbage bag. Fifteen layers would be required to achieve the thickness of a single sheet of paper.

While flexibility, lightness, and thinness are all desirable qualities in and of themselves, TMDs offer additional technical benefits. They are dependable and long-term solid. TMDs, unlike other thin-film contenders, do not contain any harmful compounds. They're also biocompatible, which means they might be utilized in wearables that require direct touch with human skin or tissue.

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