Solar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 3/6/2019

Description

An international team of researchers led by The University of Manchester have for the very first time reported experimental observation of a key, fundamental material defect which limits and degrades the efficiency of silicon solar cells when they are exposed to sunlight. The effect, known as light induced degradation (LID), has been studied for over 40 years, with over 1000 research papers referring to it, with no known solution. The environmental and financial impact of this solar panel ‘efficiency degradation’ is significant. During the first hours of operation, after installation, a solar panel’s efficiency drops from 20% to about 18% (an absolute drop of 2% ), which is a significant loss of global electricity generating capacity.

The energy cost of this shortfall across the world’s installed solar capacity measures in the 10’s of gigawatts, equivalent to more energy than is produced by the UK’s combined total of 15 nuclear power plants. The solar shortfall has therefore to be met by other, less sustainable energy sources such as burning fossil fuels.

Media coverage

TitleSolar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date3/08/19
URLhttps://phys.org/news/2019-06-solar-cell-defect-mystery-decades.html
PersonsIain Crowe
TitleAfter 40 Years of Searching, Scientists Identify The Key Flaw in Solar Panel Efficiency
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date8/06/19
URLhttps://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-identify-a-key-flaw-in-solar-panel-efficiency-after-40-years-of-searching
PersonsIain Crowe
TitleWeekly News Update: “Solar Cell Defect Mystery Solved After Decades of Effort”, The University of Manchester
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media name/outletThe quartz corp
Media typeWeb
CountryFrance
Date7/06/19
URLhttps://www.thequartzcorp.com/2019/06/07/weekly-news-update-solar-cell-defect-mystery-solved-after-decades-of-effort-the-university-of-manchester/
PersonsIain Crowe
TitleSolar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date3/06/19
URLhttps://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/solar-cell-defect-mystery-solved-after-decades-of-global-effort/
PersonsIain Crowe