Solar panels are one of the most common but not very effective ways to produce electricity from renewable sources. Contemporary technology can convert only about 25% of light to conventional solar cells into electricity.

How to increase the efficiency of solar panels

Scientific teams from all over the world are therefore looking for a way to increase this efficiency at least a little. Either they come with a completely different design, or with improvements that can be applied to existing photovoltaics.

One such team is the Swedish Algae Laboratory, which wants to improve panel performance using single-cell diatoms, the most widely used phytoplankton type. What is important is that the diatoms are hidden inside a porous silicon oxide box and these pores do not only travel through the nutrients but thanks to the more than 100 million years of evolution and light that they use for the photosynthesis process.

The diode nanopores are so good that light can be used as a sort of accelerator for solar panels. The lab has therefore developed a special technique that allows the application of diatomaceous containers in the form of a spray that creates a special film on the panels to reduce the reflectivity and more incoming light to concentrate on the photovoltaic cells themselves.

Under laboratory conditions, this procedure appears to work, diurnal screed increases the efficiency of light conversion in electricity for current panels by up to 4% and up to 60% for next-generation DSSC technology.

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