Scientists from China developed it

In the picture: Prof. Li Gang with one of the new solar panels in his hand.  (Image Credit: Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

In the picture: Prof. Li Gang with one of the new solar panels in his hand. (Image Credit: Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Scientists from the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong have been researching for two years – the result is novel organic solar cells (originally: Organic Solar Cells, in short: OSCs). One also speaks of polymer solar cells.

The special: The researchers have developed a new technique; Thanks to this, OSCs achieve an efficiency of 19.3 percent. Until now, OSCs have been considered too inefficient and expensive for commercial use (Independent and Techxplore have reported on Nature Communications).

The scientists are currently hoping to achieve an efficiency of over 20 percent. In any case, the research group from the University of Hong Kong is confident of breaking the 20 percent mark.

Li Gang of Hong Kong Polytechnic University says:

What is special about OSCs is: They are lighter and more flexible than conventional silicon-based solar cells. Organic solar cells consist of a thin layer of semiconductor materials. In addition, OSCs are up to 1,000 times thinner than ordinary silicon solar cells and are also said to be more environmentally friendly (Independent has reported).

According to the scientists, potential use cases for OSCs can be found in: Building components (including windows, for example), portable electronic devices or photovoltaic systems.

By the way: So-called balcony power plants are becoming increasingly popular – as our article by Dennis Ziesecke, which is well worth reading, proves. If you want to know what a balcony power plant is, what solar cells have to do with it, and how (or whether) Dennis was able to save electricity after 8 months of balcony power plant power, you can find out in his article.

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Editorial opinion

Patrick You can

There are currently plenty of exciting developments in terms of solar energy. One of the most spectacular projects is probably that of Ubiquitous Energy from California. The company raised $30 million last year. The money is invested in a skyscraper. This is to generate electricity by means of vertically mounted solar panels. Ubiquitous Energy plans to start production next year (CNBC reported).

What do you think of the new solar panels from China? Is this a development that you are watching with excitement or is your tongue tying itself up at the word “photovoltaic system”? So please let us know in the comments whether you even own a balcony power plant yourself or want to get one.

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