In recent years, research and introduction of new and renewable energy are being conducted in countries around the world, and power generation efficiency such as solar power generation is increasing. In a study jointly conducted by a research team at York University in the UK with NOVA University Lisbon, a simple pattern was etched on the surface of a solar panel, revealing that there is a possibility that the light absorption efficiency could more than double.
Prior to this study, various studies have been conducted to increase solar power generation efficiency, such as the development of a solar power generation system that can operate 24 hours a day, efforts to use solar power generation tide, and solar power generation using transparent solar panels.
All attempts are for the world where the dependence on fossil fuels has been reduced, but the research team looked for ways to increase power generation efficiency by making small changes to the existing solar power generation technology. What the research team paid attention to was how to control the silicon surface structure used in solar panels.
In solar power generation, the power generation efficiency increases if the solar panel absorbs sunlight and improves the solar absorption efficiency for power generation. The team decided to design a surface structure that would reduce the percentage of the sun that reflects the solar panel and trap more sunlight.
While devising the solar panel surface structure, instead of reviewing a new structural design based on patterns or computer algorithms existing in nature, we sought a method to optimize solar absorption based on a simple grid pattern.
The research team simulated the light absorption efficiency of a solar cell panel made of solar grade silicon, which is only 1 micrometer thick, on various surface structures consisting of a simple grid, an intersecting grid, and a grid pattern such as a checkered grid. In addition, the light absorption efficiency was also compared for structures in which each pattern was randomly rotated by a specific unit.
Simulation results have found that randomly rotating lattice patterns generate more electricity than any of the comparable patterns. It is suggested to generate 125% more electricity compared to conventional solar cells that do not have a grid pattern. In addition, the research team argues that the checkerboard pattern made of a grid pattern is a simple structure and is easier to produce on an industrial scale than a solar cell panel having other complex nanostructures.
The research team explained that the result is comparable to the improvement of light absorption efficiency with a refined design, and it is possible to produce thinner solar panels using a checkerboard design, saving energy required for production, and integrating solar panels into thinner materials.
He pointed out that the checkered design can be useful not only in solar power generation, but also in related areas that rely on physical functions similar to light diffraction, such as noise shielding, panels, and anti-slip. Related information can be found here .