Israeli scientists develop technique to make solar panels more efficient

Scientists in Israel have made a breakthrough in the field of solar energy that may lead to making the alternative form of energy more efficient and productive for future use.

Researchers led by Professor Avner Rothschild from Technion’s Institute for Materials Science and Technology have made advances in understanding how semiconductors work in collaboration with scientists from Ben Gurion University in the Negev and the Helmholtz Center Berlin.

Solar modules use either photovoltaic cells or photo-electrochemical cells to function. Photoelectrochemical cells can only generate energy during the hours of sunshine and require external batteries to maintain energy during the night.

On the other hand, photovoltaic cells do not need external batteries, but instead use semiconductors.

Semiconductors use light energy to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which are then stored as a separate fuel source for later. Hematite, the most common material used as a semiconductor, suffers from a lack of efficiency, which leads to an enormous waste of potential energy.

Rothschild’s team developed a new technique for testing the efficiency of hematite and other semiconductor materials, which hopefully can be used to develop more effective solar modules in the future.

Alan Aziz, CEO of Technion UK, said: “Reducing our fossil fuel consumption is the most important challenge facing our planet and the answer must be to harness the free energy that surrounds us. Improving solar panels is just another good idea from Technion scientists. “

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Solar energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources of the future, as solar panels convert the sun’s light rays into electricity. Some sources estimate that the amount of sunlight that hits the earth in just an hour and a half is enough to meet our global energy consumption for an entire year.

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