Solar cell breakthrough brightens the future of solar energy

Last month scientists in Switzerland announced an innovative clean-energy breakthrough that splits water molecules in order to create clean-burning hydrogen fuel. Although it is still in its early days, this breakthrough could provide a much cheaper solution for solar technology.


With global warming and greenhouse gas emissions being a critical concern, there has been a massive international push towards improving solar energy. Up until now, previous solar-hydrogen technologies have been too expensive to attempt to commercialise.


The breakthrough has seen a huge increase in efficiency, opening new pathways for solar energy development. Although scientists have predicted that the new and improved solar panel design won’t be available to the average person for at least 10 years, the discovery definitely brings about major implications for climate change. Improved and affordable solar energy will greatly reduce fossil fuel dependency.


The main advantage of splitting water molecules to create hydrogen is that it will allow the sun’s energy to be more easily stored to power clean cars or generate electricity.

One of the report’s authors commented that at the rate we are using fossil fuels, a solar to hydrogen conversion technology will eventually become economically viable no matter what.


The Solar Cell Technology


While the solar panels look similar to the traditional versions, often seen mounted on rooftops, the new technology will see sunlight first passing through a thin layer of water contained inside the photovoltaic cell.

The solar cell technology makes use of tungsten diselenide, a non-toxic chemical, which acts as a photocatalyst. This compound is critical for harnessing the sun’s energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.


Currently statistics show that about 1% of the energy from the sunlight that passes through a panel can be converted into hydrogen energy. In order for the discovery to have mass commercial appeal, efficiency must increase to about 10%.


Authors of the report believe that it is only a matter of time and research before the new technology’s efficiency is improved.


Solar Power Inquiries


If you still have any further questions about solar panels for your home, please do not hesitate to contact Soventix here.


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