Plastic solar cells are not new .But existing materials are only able to harness the sun’s visible light. While half of the sun’s power lies in the visible spectrum, the other half lies in the infrared spectrum. The new material is first plastic compound that is able to harness infrared portion. Every warm body emits heat. This heat is emitted even by man and by animals, even when it is dark outside.
The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the 1stgeneration solar cells that can harness the sun’s invisible infrared rays. This breakthrough made us to believe that plastic solar cells could one day become more efficient than the current solar cell. The researchers combined specially designed nano particles called quantum dots with a polymer to make the plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.
With further advances the new plastic solar cell could allow up to 30% of sun’s radiant energy to be harnessed completely when compared to only 6% in today plastic best plastic solar cells.
A large amount of sun’s energy could be harnessed through solar farms and used to power all our energy needs. This could potentially displace other source of electrical production that produce green house gases like coal.
Solar energy reaching the earth is 10000 times than what we consume. If we could cover 0.1% of the earth’s surface with the solar farms we could replace all our energy habits with a source of power which is clear and renewable.
The first crude solar cells have achieved efficiencies of today’s standard commercial photovoltaic’s the best solar cell, which are very expensive semiconductor laminates convert at most, 35% of the sun’s energy into electricity.