Researchers from the Academy of Finland have discovered a new method of harnessing more of the suns radiation. They found that by coating the solar cells with nano-scale structures they could pretty much eliminate reflection losses entirely.

The nanostructured black silicon coating features very low reflectivity, meaning that a larger portion of the Sun’s radiation can be exploited. At Aalto University, a research team led by Assistant Professor Hele Savin is conducting studies on crystalline silicon solar cells, which are the main type of solar cells that are currently on the market.

“The advantages of silicon include the long-term stability, sufficiency, low cost and non-toxicity of the element, as well as the advanced production technology. Another benefit of these solar cells is their relatively high efficiency and technological compatibility with the manufacturing technologies currently used by the semiconductor industry,” Savin explains. The technology, however, still calls for development and improvement. – Read More…

It’s not quite ready to be implemented industry wide, and specifics about how much efficiency will be gained have yet to be announced, but this is surely an important breakthrough (one of many to come hopefully) in the solar power industry. The Department of Defense’s goal of increasing renewable energy sources to 25 percent of all energy consumed by the year 2025 is looking more promising with each and every new discovery.