The limits of solar panel conversion of light into electrical energy



Solar panels – which are made from photovoltaic cells – are fundamental to the future of the energy market. However, they are ultimately limited in how efficient they can be due to the physics behind how they operate. Here I discuss how these systems work and the science behind them. This is a combination of condensed matter physics, engineering, material science, quantum mechanics. The future of green energy is important, and as such overcoming the shortcoming of current technology is critical.

One interesting direction is to use perovskite. This is a cheap alternative to Si. Here is an excellent interview with a leading scientist in this field: Check it out if you are more interested.

0:00 – Intro
0:44 – Brief History
1:18 – How solar cells work
2:24 – Semiconductor doping
3:41 – PN-junctions
4:47 – Band structure
5:49 – Spectral absorption
7:41 – Current progress

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