‘Doorbraak flexibele zonnecellen is mogelijk’

AMSTERDAM – Flexibele zonnecellen, gefabriceerd van plastic, gaan net zoveel stroom leveren als normale zonnepanelen van silicium, maar met de voordelen van de lage fabricagekosten.

Dit zegt hoogleraar organische chemie Kees Hummelen van de universiteit van Groningen. Hij heeft theoretisch onderzocht hoe de efficiëntie van deze veelbelovende technologie te verbeteren.

Efficiënte flexibele zonnecellen zijn altijd een heilige graal geweest van de zonne-energiesector. Doordat ze van plastic worden gemaakt zijn ze makkelijk te gebruiken en veel goedkoper te fabriceren.

Probleem

Probleem is altijd geweest het omzetten van zonlicht in stroom. Panelen die gemaakt worden van silicium zetten ongeveer 15 tot 20 procent van het licht om in elektriciteit. Plastic zonnecellen nog niet eens 10 procent.

“Er heerst een soort minderwaardigheidsgevoel onder wetenschappers die aan plastic zonnecellen werken. Ze denken dat hun zonnecellen nooit zo goed worden als die van silicium”, zegt Hummelen. Hij denkt nu een doorbraak te hebben dat hij onlangs heeft laten publiceren in het tijdschrift Advanced Energy Materials.

Polariseerbare moleculen

Uit computermodellen bleek dat als het zonlicht met een polariseerbare moleculen zouden opvangen de efficiëntie er flink op vooruitging. Nu worden olieachtige stoffen gebruikt die maar moeilijk elektrische ladingen verwerken.

Het volgende onderzoek richt zich op de zoektocht naar het materiaal dat aan deze eisen voldoet. “Daarom hebben we dit nu gepubliceerd, zodat zoveel mogelijk andere onderzoeksgroepen kunnen mee zoeken”, aldus de hoogleraar.

Lees hier een samenvatting van het onderzoek

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Foto copyright: Matthew Roth

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