For a lengthy period of time scientists have been endeavouring to find ways of making efficiency improvements in solar cells with so much having taken place since the introduction of photovoltaics.
Brisbane Materials are a recently established company from Australia that claims to have developed a material with an anti-reflective coating that will improve traditional solar cells efficiency by up to 3 per cent.
It is, of course, well known that certain materials’ structure can in fact “trap” the sunlight. Photons bounce about just like balls in a pinball machine in the solar cell’s upper surface to generate more current. This is similar to the way that algae may be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells.
It is not as though an anti-reflective coating is anything new as it is presently a feature of normal solar cells – Brisbane Materials have actually developed an improved version.
This improved anti-reflective coating is placed upon a glass sheet immediately above the solar cell. The small holes on the surface are air pockets that, together with glass substrate, are actually capable of reducing the sunlight’s reflection by up to 75 per cent based on a number of laboratory results.
An excellent benefit about the above invention is the fact that the layer of “porous” glass is formed upon the glass substrate at room temperature – not as a result of a high-heat process that would be expensive which is what you would usually expect to be needed when bringing together solids and liquids.
Brisbane Materials are the first company to benefit from a significant investment by the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund that is managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners. The Australian $200 million fund is made up of a partnership between the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency, via the Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund program and Softbank China Venture Capital.
The Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund was created to help new companies in Australia that are involved in the renewable energy sector.