Solar Optics and Korea Institute of Materials Science have developed a curved photovoltaic power generation system that integrates fiber optics and solar cells, shows high power conversion efficiency even without receiving direct sunlight, is able to double the average daily duration of the maximum conversion efficiency, and produces the same amount of electricity as an existing system using an area of photovoltaic panels reduced by 80% or more.
Existing photovoltaic power generation systems produce electricity by vertically absorbing sunlight with flat panels. The two-dimensional structure causes limitations in terms of receptivity and angle, approximately 76% of its surface is used inefficiently, and its maximum effectiveness continues for less than 210 minutes per day.
The institute and the startup formed nano-holes in the surfaces of the optical fibers so that light scattering could be maximized in all directions. In addition, they formed a solar cell structure based on organic matter in order to absorb the scattered light as much as possible.
“In this three-dimensional structure, a high level of efficiency can be maintained for a long time regardless of the angle of light reception and the maximum efficiency of the panel is maintained for at least six hours a day,” they explained, adding: “The fiber optics are able to emit lateral light and the new system can be installed indoors unlike existing systems.