Energy harvester collects energy from sunlight and raindrops

phys.org | 3/8/2018 | Staff
marked (Posted by) Level 4
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By attaching a transparent nanogenerator to a silicon solar cell, researchers have designed a device that harvests solar energy in sunny conditions and the mechanical energy of falling raindrops in rainy conditions. The dual functionality may provide a way to harvest energy with greater consistency in the midst of constantly changing weather conditions.

The researchers, Yuqiang Liu et al., at Soochow University in China, have published a paper on the hybrid device in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

Device - Silicon - Solar - Cell - Nanogenerator

The hybrid device consists of a conventional silicon solar cell and a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), which converts the mechanical energy of falling raindrops into electricity. Although previous research has shown that these two types of devices can be connected with an extra wire, in the new design the solar cell and TENG are integrated by sharing a mutual electrode.

"The biggest breakthrough in this work is that an integrated generator composed of a solar cell and a TENG was demonstrated through sharing a mutual electrode," coauthor Zhen Wen at Soochow University told Phys.org. "Compared to previous work, the simple design of the mutual electrode reduces the number of functional layers, which greatly improves the output efficiency."

Electrode - Results - Design - Advantages - Solar

The shared electrode not only results in a more compact design, but it also offers advantages to both the solar cell and TENG. In particular, the TENG protects the solar cell by...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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