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Engineers create transparent solar panels with a lifespan of 30 years

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Engineers create transparent solar panels with a lifespan of 30 years
The University of Michigan development team has created a new type of solar module. The main component of the panels is carbon, which allows to keep the energy efficiency of the cells at the level of 80% even after 30 years of continuous operation. Also, the modules have a sufficient degree of transparency, which makes it possible to use them instead of ordinary glass on windows.

Engineers create transparent solar panels with a lifespan of 30 years


At the moment, the most common material for making solar panels is silicon. The disadvantage of this substance is its opacity, which makes it impossible to use it in the manufacture of windows. Carbon can be a good substitute for silicon, the service life of which has been increased during laboratory research. In the experiments, the scientists were able to reduce material degradation by blocking UV radiation by attaching a zinc oxide interlayer to the sun-facing side of the glass. The next step is the integration of a thin layer of zinc and a carbon-based material called IC-SAM. The last layer consists of fullerene, which contributes to the protection of the light absorber.

The first prototype has a transparency of 40%, but the developers are confident that they will be able to bring this figure to 60%. The material can be produced as a liquid, which will reduce production costs.

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