Forum - Researchers Solve Scientific Puzzle That Could Improve Solar Panel Efficiency
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Post 157027       May 14 '19 at 11:30 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's mystery-solved department:
New solar panels created from a semiconducting material called cadmium telluride (CdTe) "have been found to produce electricity at lower costs than silicon panels and there has been a dramatic gain in efficiency brought about by adding an element called selenium to the cadmium telluride," reports Phys.Org. "Until now, it was not well understood why selenium increases efficiency but thanks to Tom Fiducia, a Ph.D. Research Student in the Center for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), and an international team of researchers, the puzzle has been solved." From the report: Their paper, titled "Understanding the role of selenium in defect passivation for highly efficient selenium-alloyed cadmium telluride solar cells," has revealed that selenium works by overcoming the effect of harmful, atomic-scale defects in CdTe panels. This explains the increase of efficiency as electrons (subatomic particles that carry electricity), which are generated when sunlight hits the solar panel, are less likely to be trapped and lost at the defects. This increases the amount of power extracted.

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