Solar cells to work on cloudy days

The solar energy development that has been evolving by leaps and bounds for the last decades, shows another progress.

From now on, the solar cells users will have their phones operating even when there is no sun at all.

The researchers from Aalto University in Finland and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain have just announced that they've set a new record by creating black silicon solar cells that can convert 22.1 percent of the Sun's light into electricity - an increase of almost four percent on their previous record. Thus, the cells will absorb way more light and will be useful even on overcast days.

The traditional cells don't work that well unless they're in direct, bright sunlight.

Due to the ability to suck up light even when the sun is low in the sky, new black silicon solar cells also increase daily energy production by 3 percent.

"This is an advantage particularly in the north, where the sun shines from a low angle for a large part of the year," project coordinator Hele Savin from Aalto University in Finland said. "We have demonstrated that in winter Helsinki, black cells generate considerably more electricity than traditional cells even though both cells have identical efficiency values." 

The researchers report that their resulting cells are the most efficient black silicon solar cells to date, capable of turning 22.1 percent of available light into electricity. "This means that the surface recombination issue has truly been solved and black silicon solar cells have real potential for industrial production."

What's even more exciting about this research is the fact that the team hasn't optimised the new cells as yet, so there's potential for them to easily become more efficient, as well as cheaper.

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