How moth eyes can be used to make better solar cells

Putting an anti-reflective film on solar cells could help improve the efficiency of solar cells. The film can also be used on computer screens and windows.

Recently, I wrote about how one researcher discovered how to model solar cell production after fly eyes . But even if you can produce solar cells on a large scale, you need to make sure the solar cells can efficiently take in the sunshine.

This time around, insect eyes have inspired a sort of anti-reflection film that can improve the efficiency of solar cells. The researchers in Japan used the structure of moth eyes to create a thin film that could be placed on solar cells to capture more power from the sun.

It makes sense: the less light that is reflected, the more light can be absorbed.

To make their case for this extra film layer, the scientists calculated that each year, an anti-reflective coating could help cities like Phoenix improve efficiency of solar cells by 6 percent. For Tokyo, efficiency would improve by 5 percent.

That might seem insignificant, but the researchers insist that, it is not. Think of it like improving automobile fuel efficiency, where every percentage counts.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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