Chemists develop flexible multicolored collectors to generate electricity

Luminescent solar concentrators can capture both direct and diffuse sunlight to use for electricity generation. In the technology, which was developed back in the 1970s, solar radiation is captured by coloured plastic panels and directed to the edges, where solar cells use the concentrated light to produce electricity. In a collaboration between Saarland University (UdS), Germany and the University of Pisa, Italy, a material developed at UdS has now been used for the first time for flexible solar concentrators. »Until now, it was only possible to produce such components from hard plastic, such as Plexiglas, explains Guido Kickelbick, Professor of Inorganic Solid State Chemistry at UdS. »Our material, which consists of a specially crosslinked silicone resin, now also enables flexible devices.« However, even in the optimal case, the efficiency is only a few percent.

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