Ilmuwan Ciptakan Surya Panel Terkecil di Dunia
Ramadhan Aditya – Okezone
Senin, 5 Agustus 2013 13:07 wib detail berita
CALIFORNIA – Sebuah penelitian baru dari University of California (UCLA) berhasil menciptakan sebuah temuan dua lapisan tipis yang bisa mengubah smartphone menjadi alat untuk menyimpan energi matahari, alias panel surya.
Seperti dikutip dari Mashable, dua lapisan tipis ini terbuat dari sel surya polimer untuk mengumpulkan cahaya matahari dan kemudian mengubahnya menjadi sumber energi yang bisa digunakan untuk banyak hal.
Dua lapisan tipis yang bisa menghasilkan energi dari cahaya ultra violet itu dapat ditempelkan di kaca jendela rumah, sunroof mobil, atau bahkan layar smartphone.
Awalnya temuan ini hanya menggunakan satu lapisan tipis untuk menangkap cahaya matahari. Namun satu lapisan hanya dapat menampung 40 persen energi dari sinar infra merah yang menyinarinya. Sedangkan dari dua lapisan tipis bisa mengumpulkan energi di tiap cahaya infra merah yang melewatinya lebih dari 80 persen.
Panel surya temuan tim peneliti dari UCLA ini adalah yang tertipis di dunia. Sedangkan tim peneliti dari universitas lain seperti Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) juga tengah mengembangkan surya panel miliknya sendiri.
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Researchers from UCLA have developed a two layer solar panel that’s super thin, imagine the possibilities!
BRILEY KENNEY AUGUST 1, 2013 2 EMAIL ARTICLE | PRINT ARTICLE
Forget battery consumption issues. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve experienced serious anxiety because my device or devices started to run low on juice at the most inopportune moment. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that won’t go away anytime soon.
Thanks to researchers at UCLA though, someday we could have solar powered smartphones and other devices. Said researchers have developed a unique two-layer film that can be placed on a flat surface and used to harness solar energy. Long story short, it’s a very thin solar panel.
The thin strip makes use of tiny polymer solar cells which directly convert collected solar power into the necessary energy. Some example applications include using the panels on home windows, smartphone displays, and more.
According to the researchers, the reason they used two cells instead of one is because they were able to capture and produce two times more energy. The generated solar panels are able to capture up to 80 percent of the infrared light passed through the layers.
UCLA is currently trying to develop a working prototype of the film, which can be used to demo the technology. Other schools, like MIT, have taken interest in similar technology and have begun working on projects of their own.
As of right now, there’s no mention about when we can expect to see this type of technology implemented in retail devices, or in other fields. It could take at least a decade before the panels have been perfected enough for various technologies. Still, it’s promising to see projects like this turning up. I can’t imagine using a hybrid device that’s powered on solar energy during the day and backed up by battery power at night. Imagine how long a smartphone with technology like that would last? It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.
[via Mashable, UCLA
UCLA researchers double efficiency of novel solar cell
Device could coat windows, smartphone screens with energy-harvesting material
By Bill Kisliuk July 29, 2013
New solar cells
Nearly doubling the efficiency of a breakthrough photovoltaic cell they created last year, UCLA researchers have developed a two-layer, see-through solar film that could be placed on windows, sunroofs, smartphone displays and other surfaces to harvest energy from the sun.
The new device is composed of two thin polymer solar cells that collect sunlight and convert it to power. It’s more efficient than previous devices, the researchers say, because its two cells absorb more light than single-layer solar devices, because it uses light from a wider portion of the solar spectrum, and because it incorporates a layer of novel materials between the two cells to reduce energy loss.
While a tandem-structure transparent organic photovoltaic (TOPV) device developed at UCLA in 2012 converts about 4 percent of the energy it receives from the sun into electric power (its “conversion rate”), the new tandem device — which uses a combination of transparent and semi-transparent cells — achieves a conversion rate of 7.3 percent.
Researchers led by Yang Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr., Professor of Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said the new cells could serve as a power-generating layer on windows and smartphone displays without compromising users’ ability to see through the surface. The cells can be produced so that they appear light gray, green or brown, and so can blend with the color and design features of buildings and surfaces.
The research was published online July 26 by Energy & Environmental Science, a Royal Society of Chemistry journal, and it will appear later in a published edition of the journal.
“Using two solar cells with the new interfacial materials in between produces close to two times the energy we originally observed,” said Yang, who is also director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. “We anticipate this device will offer new directions for solar cells, including the creation of solar windows on homes and office buildings.”
The tandem polymer solar cells are made of a photoactive plastic. A single-cell device absorbs only about 40 percent of the infrared light that passes through. The tandem device — which includes a cell composed of a new infrared-sensitive polymer developed by UCLA researchers — absorbs up to 80 percent of infrared light plus a small amount of visible light.
Chun-Chao Chen, a graduate student in the UCLA materials science and engineering department who is the paper’s primary author, said using transparent and semi-transparent cells together increases the device’s efficiency, and that the materials were processed at low temperatures, making them relatively easy to manufacture.
Other authors of the study were Gang Li, a staff researcher in the materials science and engineering department at UCLA; Jing Gao, a materials science and engineering graduate student; and Letian Dou and Wei-Hsuan Chang, graduate students in the UCLA materials science and engineering department and the California NanoSystems Institute.
The research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research and EFL Tech.
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, established in 1945, offers 28 academic and professional degree programs and has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students. The school’s distinguished faculty are leading research to address many of the critical challenges of the 21st century, including renewable energy, clean water, health care, wireless sensing and networking, and cybersecurity. Ranked among the top 10 engineering schools at public universities nationwide, the school is home to eight multimillion-dollar interdisciplinary research centers in wireless sensor systems, wireless health, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, renewable energy, customized computing, the smart grid, and the Internet, all funded by federal and private agencies and individual donors.
A Giant Leap to Commercialization of Polymer Solar Cell Technology
May 6, 2013 — Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) demonstrated high-performance polymer solar cells (PSCs) with power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.92% which is the highest values reported to date for plasmonic PSCs using metal nanoparticles (NPs).
A polymer solar cell is a type of thin film solar cells made with polymers that produce electricity from sunlight by the photovoltaic effect. Most current commercial solar cells are made from a highly purified silicon crystal. The high cost of these silicon solar cells and their complex production process has generated interest in developing alternative photovoltaic technologies.
Compared to silicon-based devices, PSCs are lightweight (which is important for small autonomous sensors), solution processability (potentially disposable), inexpensive to fabricate (sometimes using printed electronics), flexible, and customizable on the molecular level, and they have lower potential for negative environmental impact. Polymer solar cells have attracted a lot of interest due to these many advantages.
Although these many advantages, PSCs currently suffer from a lack of enough efficiency for large scale applications and stability problems but their promise of extremely cheap production and eventually high efficiency values has led them to be one of the most popular fields in solar cell research.
To maximize PCE, light absorption in the active layer has to be increased using thick bulk heterojunction (BHJ) films. However, the thickness of the active layer is limited by the low carrier mobilities of BHJ materials. Therefore, it is necessary to find the ways to minimize the thickness of BHJ films while maximizing the light absorption capability in the active layer.
The research team employed the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect via multi-positional silica-coated silver NPs (Ag@SiO2) to increase light absorption. The silica shell in Ag@SiO2 preserves the SPR effect of the Ag NPs by preventing oxidation of the Ag core under ambient conditions and also eliminates the concern about exciton quenching by avoiding direct contact between Ag cores and the active layer. The multi-positional property refers to the ability of Ag@SiO2 NPs to be introduced at both ITO/PEDOT:PSS (type I) and PEDOT:PSS/active layer (type II) interfaces in polymer: fullerene-based BHJ PSCs due to the silica shells.
Because PSCs have many advantages, including low cost, solution processability, and mechanical flexibility, PSCs can be adopted in various applications. However, we should break the efficiency barrier of 10% for commercialization of PSCs.
Jin Young Kim and Soojin Park, both, Associate Professors of the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, South Korea, led this work.
Prof. Kim said, “This is the first report introducing metal NPs between the hole transport layer and active layer for enhancing device performance. The multipositional and solutions-processable properties of our surface plasmon resonance (SPR) materials offer the possibility to use multiple plasmonic effects by introducing various metal nanoparticles into different spatial location for high-performance optoelectronic device via mass production techniques.”
“Our work is meaningful to develop novel metal nanoparticles and almost reach 10% efficiency by using these materials. If we continuously focus on optimizing this work, commercialization of PSCs will be a realization but not dream,” added Prof. Park.
This research was supported by WCU (World Class University) program through the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation funded the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Minister Lee Ju-Ho) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (President Seung Jong Lee).
Highly Transparent Solar Cells for Windows That Generate Electricity
July 20, 2012 — UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano.
The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. They made the device from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.
“These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications,” said study leader Yang Yang, a UCLA professor of materials science and engineering, who also is director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).
Yang added that there has been intense world-wide interest in so-called polymer solar cells. “Our new PSCs are made from plastic-like materials and are lightweight and flexible,” he said. “More importantly, they can be produced in high volume at low cost.”
Polymer solar cells have attracted great attention due to their advantages over competing solar cell technologies. Scientists have also been intensely investigating PSCs for their potential in making unique advances for broader applications. Several such applications would be enabled by high-performance visibly transparent photovoltaic (PV) devices, including building-integrated photovoltaics and integrated PV chargers for portable electronics.
Previously, many attempts have been made toward demonstrating visibly transparent or semitransparent PSCs. However, these demonstrations often result in low visible light transparency and/or low device efficiency because suitable polymeric PV materials and efficient transparent conductors were not well deployed in device design and fabrication.
A team of UCLA researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have demonstrated high-performance, solution-processed, visibly transparent polymer solar cells through the incorporation of near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and using silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode. The near-infrared photoactive polymer absorbs more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, balancing solar cell performance and transparency in the visible wavelength region.
Another breakthrough is the transparent conductor made of a mixture of silver nanowire and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which was able to replace the opaque metal electrode used in the past. This composite electrode also allows the solar cells to be fabricated economically by solution processing. With this combination, 4% power-conversion efficiency for solution-processed and visibly transparent polymer solar cells has been achieved.
“We are excited by this new invention on transparent solar cells, which applied our recent advances in transparent conducting windows (also published in ACS Nano) to fabricate these devices,” said Paul S.Weiss, CNSI director and Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences.
Study authors also include Weiss; materials science and engineering postdoctoral researcher Rui Zhu; Ph.D. candidates Chun-Chao Chen, Letian Dou, Choong-Heui Chung, Tze-Bin Song and Steve Hawks; Gang Li, who is former vice president of engineering for Solarmer Energy, Inc., a startup from UCLA; and CNSI postdoctoral researcher Yue Bing Zheng.