Info
Info

Tweaking Quantum Dots Powers-up Double-pane Solar Windows

News

Solar windows generate electricity with greater efficiency and create shading and insulation too

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboraotry are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and also create shading and insulation.

It’s made possible by a new window architecture which uses two different layers of low-cost quantum dots tuned to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum.

The approach complements existing photovoltaic technology by adding high-efficiency sunlight collectors to existing solar panels or integrating them as semitransparent windows into a building’s architecture.

To transform a window into a tandem luminescent sunlight collector, the Los Alamos team deposits a layer of highly emissive manganese-doped quantum dots onto the surface of the front glass pane and a layer of CIS quantum dots onto the surface of the back pane.

The front layer absorbs the blue and ultraviolet portions of the solar spectrum, while the rest of the spectrum is picked up by the bottom layer.

Following absorption, the dot re-emits a photon at a longer wavelength, and then the re-emitted light is guided by total internal reflection to the glass edges of the window. There, solar cells integrated into the window frame collect the light and convert it to electricity.

“Because of the the strong performance we can achieve with low-cost, solution-processable materials, these quantum-dot-based double-pane windows and even more complex luminescent solar concentrators offer a new way to bring down the cost of solar electricity," said lead researcher Victor Klimov. “The approach complements existing photovoltaic technology by adding high-efficiency sunlight collectors to existing solar panels or integrating them as semitransparent windows into a building’s architecture."

The key to this advance is 'solar-spectrum splitting' which allows one to process separately higher– and lower–energy solar photons. The higher-energy photons can generate a higher photovoltage, which could boost the overall power output. This approach also improves the photocurrent as the dots used in the front layer are virtually “reabsorption free."

The team has demonstrated a large-area (>230 cm2) tandem luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) based on the two types of quantum dots. This prototype device exhibits a high optical quantum efficiency of 6.4 percent for sunlight illumination and solar-to-electrical power conversion efficiency of 3.1 percent. The efficiency gains due to the tandem architecture over single-layer devices quickly increase with increasing LSC size and can reach more than 100 percent in structures with window sizes of more than 2,500 cm2.

'Tandem luminescent solar concentrators based on engineered quantum dots' by Kaifeng Wu et al, Nature Photonics, January 1, 2018.

World Bank To Invest $1 Billion Towards Battery Storage
Organic Solar Hits New Landmark
Ensibo Adopts QOS O&M Software To Manage Of 120 MW PV Portfolio
Fenix Reach 150,000 Zambians In Nine Months
Welsh Researchers Supersize Perovskite Solar Technology
Spottitt Launches Cloud-Based Geospatial Data Analysis On DNV GL’s Veracity Platform
K-Space Grows In-line Metrology Revenue
Trina Solar Supplies Modules To Ukraine's Largest Solar Power Plant
New III-V Device Concept Combines Two Structures
REDEN Solar Completes The Refinancing Of Its Iberian Solar PV Assets
BayWa R.e. Receives The National Energy Globe Award For Its Solar Project In Zambia
BYD And KOSTAL Announce Strategic Partnership For Energy Storage Solutions
BayWa R.e. Partners With Mexico’s Largest Distributor Of PV Products
Solar Might Become EU’s Fastest-Growing Energy Source Due To Elimination Of Tariffs
First “plug And Play” Power-enhancing Ribbons For PV Interconnection
InnoEnergy Start-ups Have Created 1,741 Jobs
Trina Solar Supplies Modules To Ukraine's Largest Solar Power Plant
Strong Solar Performance Triggers Record Low Fossil Fuel Generation In Third Quarter
The Time To Invest In Emission Control And Renewable Energy Is Now
Amarenco France's Number One In Rooftop Solar After Latest Tender Results
ABB Connects Sweden´s Largest Solar Park To The Grid
NREL Cuts Cost Of III-V Tandem Cells
SMA Surpasses 1 GW Installed Solar In Latin America
RES And VBB Celebrate Construction Progress Of 10 MW Storage Project

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Logo
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Solar + Power Magazine, the Solar + Power Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info