Colorful Approach to Solar Energy
An artist's representation shows how a cost-effective solar concentrator could help make existing solar panels more efficient. The dye-based luminescent solar concentrator functions without the use of tracking or cooling systems, greatly reducing the overall cost compared to other concentrator technology. Dye molecules coated on glass absorb sunlight, and reemit it at a different wavelength. The light is trapped and transported within the glass until it is captured by solar cells at the edge. Some light passes through the concentrator, and is absorbed by lower voltage solar cells underneath. [Note: Graphic is not to scale.]
This image accompanied NSF press release, "A Colorful Approach to Solar Energy."
Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation
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