Too many people are focusing on complex ways to make solar power more efficient: developing new materials, creating complex tracking systems, stuff like that. A startup called Semprius, however, is taking a simpler approach, just stacking solar panels on top of each other.
The idea is to simply stack different semiconducting materials, which collect different frequencies of light, on top of each other. Just allow the sunlight to pass through one to the next and then collect all of the energy they produce at once.
Semprius has developed a new method of stacking multiple semiconductors on top of each other using a new adhesive that will keep them from separating without affecting their performance, as well as a way to link together all of their outputs.
The best part is that it has actually been proven to work, and Semprius believes that this could make solar as cost-effective as natural gas. The startup has already put together a couple of different solar cells which stack four different semiconductors on top of each other. The two have achieved 43.9% and 44.1% efficiency, which measure how much of the sun’s energy they actually convert into usable energy.
The only issue is that they’re very expensive due to the fact that they use so many layers of semiconductor. Mass production, however, should lower the cost considerably, not to mention the amount of money that could be saved in the long run by using such efficient solar power technology.
Read more about the story at Technology Review.