Australian scientists at the University of Queensland have developed a new technology which could revolutionise the generation of solar energy. The technology uses microscopic particles called ‘quantum dots’ to generate photovoltaic power, even in low light conditions. The University explains the implications of this in this video.
These quantum dots can be printed onto a wide range of surfaces in the form of a flexible film. The film hardens in five to six seconds. Once hardened, the dots pass electrons between each other when they are exposed to light, generating electricity. As the quantum dots absorb a larger spectrum of solar light than traditional panels, they are able to generate an increased amount of energy in low light conditions.
This means that the technology might be used to generate power indoors or in regions where the weather is not suited to traditional solar cells. The film also has other unique properties which make it an attractive way to generate electricity. It’s flexible, so it could be printed on the surfaces of portable devices or vehicles. It’s even translucent, so it could be used to coat ‘tinted’ windows. Finally, the process is highly scalable, reducing the costs in the long term.
This technology has the potential to be revolutionary. The University of Queensland even suggests that this technology it might one day be used to charge your phone using the light in your office! However, as the Guardian notes, there is still some way to go before the technology is commercially viable. Existing panels are already relatively inexpensive and they run at around 22.6% efficiency rather the 16.6% the microdots have achieved.
At Comera Energy, we are always looking at how we can use emerging and innovative technologies to help our clients to generate cost-effective, sustainable power. Comera Energy works with clients to deploy the right technologies in the right ways to meet their energy needs. We have over 10 years of experience at the highest level – and with hundreds of installations under our belt, we are well-positioned to add value at all stages of your project.
If you’ve got questions, or if you’re looking for advice, get in touch with me at Richard.Percival@comeragroup.co.uk or on 0117 971 8121.