Developing and commercialising the blue LED led to the ongoing revolution in the lighting industry, something research facility CSEM wants to emulate with the development of a completely white solar panel.
Presenting at the 9th ENERGY FORUM conference on the building skins of the future ('advanced building skins'), researcher Jordi Escarre Palou and his team from the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) showcased an all-white solar module with claimed efficiencies of over 10%.
Escarre Palou said in a statement: “We achieve the highest efficiency level through a combination of crystalline high-performance solar cells with a film treated using nanotechnology, which only filters a particular wavelength of light through to the cell and reflects the visible spectrum as a diffuse illumination.”
The surface of the module is white, without a visible wafer structure seen beneath the surface. The solar cell technology used is tuned to convert infrared solar light into electricity that is boosted by a selective scattering filter, which scatters the whole visible spectrum while transmitting infrared light.
The technology is said to be able to be applied on top of an existing module or integrated into a new module during assembly, on flat or curved surfaces.
Not surprisingly, its main target market application is BIPV, yet other fields such as consumer electronics such as laptops (think Apple) as well as the automotive industry could be targeted.
However, in respect to buildings and façades, many architects PV Tech has spoken to over many years prefer the colour grey. That said, white could become a preferred choice second to grey as it is seen by designers and architects as elegant, versatile, and provides a fresh look (think Apple).