Technological advancements in the world of solar power energy are plentiful, and a startup company known as Semprius have quite a practical one in the works. By simply stacking up semiconducting materials on top of each other, the company has already developed solar arrays with much higher efficiency ratings than traditional commercial solutions.
The idea is to have a number of layers of semiconducting materials stacked on top of each other, each tuned to capture certain frequencies of light on the way through. At the end of the chain, all of the light is collected and converted to power at once, a process both Semprius and Technology Review claim will allow solar energy to be as cost-effective as natural gas one day.
It not as simple as it sounds though. The process requires a number new developments including a special adhesive to ensure the layers maintain optimal functionality as well as a master bus system to sum together the output of the layers.
Semprius currently has two different arrays in action using this tech at the moment, both of which are performing well outside of traditional options. One is clocking a near 44% efficiency rating and the other is just over 44%, compared to the 25% or so we see from current commercial installations, that is quite impressive. However, one major issue still remains.
It is currently very expensive to put something like this together. While every additional layer raises cost dramatically, some suggest mass production and the sheer efficiency they provide might make the tech more realistic then it initially appears.