A study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of New York and the NOVA University of Lisbon found that designing solar panels in checkerboard lines increased their ability to absorb light by 125%. This increases the energy production of solar cells and decreases the size of a solar farm needed to produce a set amount of power.
Dr. Christian Schuster from the Department of Physics said: “We found a simple trick for boosting the absorption of slim solar cells. Our investigations show that our idea actually rivals the absorption enhancement of more sophisticated designs—while also absorbing more light deep in the plane and less light near the surface structure itself.
“Our design rule meets all relevant aspects of light-trapping for solar cells, clearing the way for simple, practical, and yet outstanding diffractive structures, with a potential impact beyond photonic applications.
“This design offers the potential to further integrate solar cells into thinner, flexible materials and therefore create more opportunity to use solar power in more products.”
citation: Kezheng Li et al, Light trapping in solar cells: simple design rules to maximize absorption, Optica (2020). DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.394885