Scientists at the University of Warwick They have taken a new step in improving solar energy capture systems, without innovating on photovoltaic panels, but by completely redefining the technology. So, taking as a starting point the ideas of geniuses like Albert Einstein or Tesla, this team created a unique double-glazed solar device, which uses gas instead of vacuum to transport electrical energy.
Although it is currently a prototype, the proposal by Gavin Bell and Yorck Ramachers, from the physics department at this British university, rethinks this technology and opens a new path “Opportunities for the development of more advanced photovoltaic systems”, as explained by the university it is a statement.
“Our system is radically different from standard photovoltaic panels and can even be adapted to other green technologies, such as the direct conversion of heat into electricity”, assure the inventors of this alternative. To shape it, Experts have turned to start with the ideas that heavyweights like Albert Einstein or Nikola Tesla raised over a century ago..
With this starting point, now a team was created which basically consists of a thin double glazed window. The transparent exterior conducts electricity; while the interior, which they called a photocathode, is coated with a special material (yet to be defined) that acts as a source of electrons when the sun hits. Between one layer and another, this system incorporates a safe inert gas such as argon.
So when the light hits, the electrons are expelled from the photocathode and bounce back through the gas to the outside, without being absorbed and without loss. Then the electrons are collected and the electrical energy is sent to the network not through a vacuum, but through a space filled with gas. This change, in the opinion of the University of Warwick, would be much more cost effective for any device.
“It’s totally different from the way electrons work in today’s solar panels and opens up the possibility of improving methods of solar power generation; at a time when improvements to conventional photovoltaic panels are difficult to achieve “, add the promoters of this innovation which, yes, still requires enough progress to leave the laboratory.
The biggest challenge in the future will be to identify the most optimal material to use in the photosensitive layer. Even if scientists see the incorporation of thin layers of diamond as a possibility Due to the durability and sturdiness of this material, they appeal to the scientific community to continue to shape this alternative to conventional panels. “The materials challenge is really critical, so we encourage specialists to be creative”, they point.