Dr. Challa V. Kumar recently produced a new kind of antenna that can double solar cell efficiency. While silicon solar cells are good at converting certain wavelengths into electricity, they are not very efficient at converting light from the blue part of the spectrum. This lower efficiency means that it takes homeowners and business a longer amount of time to recoup the funds they invested in solar panels.
Dr. Kumar recently found a way to improve solar cell efficiency through high-tech antenas. Dr. Kumar and his team developed an antenna made from organic dyes that are charged by light. When these dyes are warmed up and then cooled, they create a pink film that can be coated on top of solar cells to improve their efficiency. Not only is the dye eco-friendly, but it is also inexpensive to produce.
While the new antennas are still in the prototype stage, the clever device could help consumers recoup their investments in solar energy much faster.