Photon Fission & Fusion: Beyond the Limits of Conventional Solar Energy Technologies

The aim is to develop new technology that drastically increases the possibility to exploit the full energy spectrum of sunlight, applicable to existing and future solar energy technology. With preserved efficiency, the required sunlit area might be reduced by more than 50% by this technology, i.e. doubled efficiency. Two new light absorbing dye systems will be developed and adapted to existing solar technologies for electricity and fuel production. One dye system will enable the utilization of the surplus energy of the energy rich sunlight (blue end of the spectrum) that in existing technology is wasted as heat. The other dye system converts sunlight of too low energy (red end of the spectrum) to be able to contribute to the fuel or power production in today’s devices into a useful feedstock. Thus, the project addresses the two major bottlenecks of today’s solar energy technologies and will enable optimal utilization of all wavelengths of the solar spectrum.

Start date 01/01/2013
End date The project is closed: 31/12/2015
​The project aims to significantly improve the utilization of solar energy. The long term goal is to double the efficiency of solar energy systems. Two new light-absorbing dye systems are to be developed and adapted to different technologies for the production of solar electricity or solar fuel. The first dye allows the utilization of excess energy of high-energy photons. The second dye up-convert the energy of photons that otherwise would have too low energy to contribute. In this way, the two major bottlenecks inherent in today's solar technology are attacked, and maximum utilization of all wavelengths in sunlight is enabled.

The part of the project implemented at Environmental Systems Analysis aims to examine the industrialization potential by studying possible markets for introduction, competition from closely related approaches and potential environmental and resource constraints.
Keywords
​Solar cells, PV, up-conversion, down-conversion, efficiency

Funded by

  • Swedish Energy Agency (Public, Sweden)

Published: Mon 18 Mar 2013. Modified: Thu 31 May 2018