Social Responsibility


Solar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort

Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:08:00 BST

A team of scientists at the University has solved a key flaw in solar panels after 40 years of research around the world.

Solar panels are among the most available system of generating energy through renewable sources due to their relative cost and consumer availability. However, the majority of solar cells only achieve 20% efficiency – for every kW of equivalent sunlight, about 200W of electrical power can be generated.

Now an international team of researchers have resolved a key fundamental issue of material defect which limits and degrades solar cell efficiency. The problem has been known about and studied for over 40 years, with over 270 research papers attributed to the issue with no solution.

The new research shows the first observation of a previously unknown material defect which limits silicon solar cell efficiency.

The research team feature in an exclusive podcast discussing this new research.

Energy is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.

Contact us

Connect with us

  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • YouTube icon
  • Tumblr icon