Why future solar panels depend on graphene tech?! [9 amazing reasons]
The solar power is the fastest growing in renewable energy if compared with other resources like wind and hydropower. because the solar power is available in everywhere in the world and don’t need complex or the huge equipment and the researchers estimate that the Earth receives over 173,000 terawatts of energy every year, which is more than 10,000 times what humanity needs of energy.
Even today’s the most efficient solar cells only convert just over 20% of the sun’s rays to electricity! and that leading to researchers and scientists doing a lot of efforts to up “Power Conversion Efficiency (PCE) and has the symbol (η) ” and nanomaterials appears as the best solution for growing effective of solar panels and graphene have one of the promising nanomaterials because of their unique properties in electricity and make it strong competitor for silicon in all fields.
Why Future solar panels depend on graphene ?!
1- More effective:
Nowadays the traditional solar panels use materials that turn light into electricity like silicon or gallium arsenide it generates a few electrons for each photons bundle absorbed and since this photons bundle contains more power than these electrons can carry, so a lot of the internal energy in the sunlight lost into heat instead of convert to electricity.
How graphene solves this problem the researchers at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain, who led this research by “Frank Koppens”. and reveals that when graphene absorbs a photons bundles it generates multiple electrons more from other conventional materials and that capable of driving a current so that make it more effective than other materials.
The biggest obstacle to using the solar power widely it’s too expensive for nowadays about 3 US dollar per watt for example if you want to install solar panels to get 10 kilowatts (kW) its installation costs about 30,000$.
So that people hope in the future solar panel solving this problem and make solar power cheaper, graphene do that by many ways, by raising effective of solar panels to generate more energy and save their efficiency and effectiveness for long lifespan ( Usually, solar panels degrade and their effectiveness loses about 0.5% / year, thin-film solar panels like “a-Si, CdTe, and CIGS” and sometimes degrades faster than this average ), and graphene one of main material that used in organic solar cells ( Solar cells are the building blocks of photovoltaic modules, otherwise known as solar panels ) and its made from cheap materials and don’t need complicated or expensive industrial methods and are solution-processable at high throughput and are cheap, and have many advantages than traditional solar panels it can be flexible, semi-transparent and very light weight. that will be resulting became affordable and low costs when it starts in production to fabricate a large volume in future and technology works hard to get this target in near future.
Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in the Department of Applied Physics of the has successfully developed efficient low-cost and semi-transparent perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes ( Perovskite: is a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate “CaTiO3”) and this feature of semi-transparent solar panels make it can enter in crowded cities it’s very hard used conventional solar panels because of narrow places that available to put solar panels but the graphene solar panel present new solution to make it easy use solar panel in every house by use as the glass of every window can imagine how skyscrapers windows became as a solar panel station!
Graphene presents many kinds of flexible solar panels usually depends on organic electronics like ( PMMA Graphene on Silicon) film solar cell (PMMA: Poly Methyl MethAcrylate), and graphene film has another benefit it works as a packaging material to improve the device stability. The PMMA–Gr–Si solar cell could keep 93% of the original efficiency after bending 60 times.
And scientists at Rice University have invented a new cathode that may make cheap, flexible dye-sensitized solar cells practical. by nanotubes that are seamlessly bonded to graphene and replaces the expensive and brittle platinum-based materials often used in earlier versions, graphene used in organic solar cell helps it became flexible and save it strong, since of 2015, organic solar cells were able to achieve over 10% efficiency via a tandem structure and research work to grow this percentage in the future solar panels.
5- Work in any conditions:
In the bad conditions like raining or cloudy solar panel doesn’t work but new solar cell prototype depends on graphene able to generate electricity not in this bad conditions but from raindrops also!!!
A team of scientists at Qingdao, China. Theirs developed technology for a new type of graphene solar panels able to generate electricity from raindrops it needs a mere one-atom thick graphene layer for an excessive amount of electrons to move as they wish across the surface because of graphene high conductivity, among many other benefits. In situations where water is present, graphene binds its electrons with positively charged ions. Some of you may know this process to be called as the “Lewis” acid-base interaction.
The little salt contained in rain separates into ions (ammonium, calcium and sodium), made as a catalyst, so that can lead to developing new generate of graphene solar panels work from evaporation or sea drizzle special in coasting areas or became ideal to used in ships and boats, the water actually cling to the graphene, forming a dual layer (AKA pseudocapacitor) with the graphene electrons, The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.
6- Can use anywhere:
Graphene many solutions to create suitable solar panels for future and can use anywhere because of wonderful feature of it like ( flexible, semi-transparent, lightweight, affordable price, more effective and can work in very hard conditions ) all this feature help solar panel enter in new places like buildings, cars, ships and became as good investment when using anything graphene solar panels built-in in it.
When establishing a private solar panel station in the morning when generating electricity more what you need you can sell electricity to the general electric system and in the night when your private station doesn’t generate electric can buy electric from the general electric system that easy thing.
But if you living in a remote area and can’t connect with the general electric system you must store electric in the morning to use it in the night and graphene offers the solutions for that also!
Graphene develops the future batteries by enhancing batteries capacity to up many times than traditional batteries and multiply the life cycle of charging and discharge than normal batteries nowadays.
8- A promising technology:
Nanotechnology and Nanomaterial have a great promising to change the future because it developing so fast, and graphene one of the most interesting nanotech and widely regarded as ” miracle material ” of the 21st century, because graphene has a wonderful list of characteristics it’s the strongest material in the world it’s 200 times stronger than steel but six times lighter from steel, graphene better electricity conductor than copper, it’s impermeable to gases so use to save hydrogen and almost completely transparent. Further that its properties can be modified when chemical components are added to its surface.
And graphene have unique properties in electronics makes it strong competitor for silicon in all fields further that graphene usually beat silicon in many future challenges like creating super electronics, CPU, RAM, wearables and super solar panels with more effective.
Solar panels not fully environment-friendly but do harmful things so that Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) warned that solar panel manufacturing creates many of the same toxic as those found in semiconductor production, including silicon tetrachloride, and greenhouse gases like sulfur hexafluoride. Silicon tetrachloride is a very toxic compound. And for each kilogram of polysilicon products, four kilograms of silicon tetrachloride are generated.
How graphene works to save the environment from that ?!
The organic solar panel manufacturing generates less harmful materials and graphene enhance the organic solar panels to became alternate of traditional silicon solar panels that generate a lot of toxic pollution when industrialization. Furthermore, the graphene solar panels materials readily available in large quantities on the earth That are an important point to save resources for future generations.