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Solar Panel Breakthrough Discovery Could Help Increase Energy Production

Research from the Technion, Ben Gurion University, and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have made a breakthrough in better understanding semiconductors used in solar panels. The scientists were led by Professor Avner Rothschild and studied the efficiency of photoelectrochemical cells in producing energy.

Sunlight can be harvested through photovoltaic cells, which as the name indicates, transforms sunlight directly into energy (volts), and photoelectrochemical cells transform sunlight into hydrogen fuel. The photovoltaic cells are problematic in that they can only generate energy during daylight hours and use rechargeable batteries to store energy at night. This method is cost-inefficient and only a short-term solution.

Photoelectrochemical cells however can store energy without exterior batteries; by using special semiconductors, light energy can split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be stored as fuel to later produce energy. (JPost / VFI News)

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