Everything You Need To Know About Organic Solar Cells
With the advent of solar power, traditional energy generation methods are slowly becoming obsolete. Even in the solar industry, solar panels continuously go through innovative changes to get the most out of them.
One of the most stunning pieces of technology has recently been on the rise and has made a name for itself; the organic solar panel. Even though it is a promising prospect, many people know nothing about it. This article will explain why that is and all the details about organic solar panels.
Organic Solar Cells
Organic photovoltaic cells (OPV) or organic solar cells are modern solar cells. They have been quickly making their name in the industry as it is a rapidly advancing technology. The popularity stems from the fact that these solar panels can absorb a large amount of sunlight and perform better than traditional solar cells.
Standard solar cells make use of silicon which absorbs sunlight. On the other hand, organic solar cells use a polymer derived from carbon-based materials and organic electronics. The carbon-based material helps significantly as a highly flexible, lightweight, and thin filmed solar cell is created. Also, this material makes organic solar cells very durable. Lastly, their surface area is significantly increased due to the molecular spacing of the material.
The functioning process is the same between organic solar cells and polycrystalline and monocrystalline silicon. The process used by all of them is known as the photovoltaic effect. In this process, light is converted to electricity at a micro level.
In the first step, photons are absorbed by the solar cells. Photons are little packets of energy that compose light. The photons hit the electrons in the atoms of the solar cell, making them loose since the solar cell is a semiconducting material. After this, the semiconductor becomes an electron acceptor.
Next, the loose electron travels through the solar cell creating an electrical current. This is the electricity that is transferred to your home. All solar panels have the same process. What is different is the type of semiconductor present inside them,
Benefits of Organic Solar Cells
There are countless benefits that organic solar cells provide. These benefits will only rise with the advancement of technology.
Firstly, these panels are very light and flexible. They also cover a large surface area, meaning more sunlight can be absorbed efficiently. A robust molecular structure contributes to its extreme durability.
Moreover, many people are skeptical about the price of solar panels since they can be expensive depending on the system. Still, organic solar panels have a low manufacturing cost due to organic materials being used for their creation, which means they can be cheaper than traditional solar panels.
Many materials can be used for organic solar panels, which increases the supply and drops the price further. These panels are made of organic materials, which is environmentally friendly recycling.
The Bad News
Research is currently underway for organic solar cells, and specific issues need to be addressed before it can be considered a viable technology. It is recommended over traditional solar panels.
Due to less research in this area, a typical organic solar cell can have an efficiency of 8%-12%, while silicon cells can reach 20% – 25% efficiency. Their lifespan is pretty short too. This is because of the use of organic material to make the cells deteriorate faster on exposure to the environment.
Organic solar panels are very promising, but they are a project for the future because right now, they are still being tested and researched. One might say that they are at a preliminary stage. On the other hand, the safest choice right now is traditional solar panels. Although the future will belong to organic solar panels, our safest bet is a typical solar cell right now.