New material to help increase the efficiency of solar-generated electricity

New material to help increase the efficiency of solar-generated electricity

Since life was born on the earth, solar power is the main energy source for it. Solar power is also vitally important for the human being to survive.

A Purdue University LED team developed new material and the manufacturing process. It was reported that this new material could use solar energy as heat energy, more efficient while generating electricity. This innovation is a great step for the cost of competition between fossil fuel and solar thermal power generation.


‘It is cheaper than storing energy via battery if storing solar energy as heat’, Purdue’s Reilly Professor of Material Engineering Kenneth Sandhage said. The next step would be to reduce the cost of generating electricity from the sun’s heat, he added. This research at Purdue has co-operated with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was published on journal Nature.

In concentrated solar power plants, solar power is converted into electricity through the mirrors or lenses to concentrate the light onto a small area which will generate heat energy and transfer to a molten salt. Then, the heat from the molten salt is transferred to a working fluid, supercritical CO2 which will expand and spin a turbine for generating electricity.


Professor Sandhage concluded that man-made carbon dioxide emission would be reduced drastically from electricity production. So, the carbon dioxide that will cause global warming could contribute to reducing the carbon footprint from the electricity generation.

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