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New Transparent Panels May Revolutionize Agrovoltaics

Israeli Scientists have developed new solar cells that could reduce the cost of energy per kwh by 75%, while letting crops thrive

Feb 08, 2023 / 2 Min
Photo: Derek Sutton on Unsplash

Did you know more energy from sunlight strikes the Earth in one hour than all the energy consumed on the planet in a year? (The Etgar Research Group, Hebrew University). There is a huge gap between our present use of solar energy and its enormous undeveloped potential.


Professor Haim Rabinovich from the Faculty of Agriculture and Prof. Lioz Etgar from the Institute of Chemistry, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed new solar cells, based on perovskite crystals, that are expected to have much lower production costs than silicon-based photovoltaic cells, reducing the cost of energy per kwh by 75%, while improving cultivation conditions in greenhouses and even saving water. 


A chemical substitution makes the solar cells transparent to the most efficient area of the light spectrum that drives photosynthesis, while a great part of the rest of the light energy is transformed into electricity.


Professor Lioz Etgar : “We can change the chemistry and by that tailor the optical properties of the material. Therefore, it can be used as a semitransparent solar cell for greenhouses…the efficiency is lower than the highest efficiency of a solar cell, but still, we are talking about enough electricity that can be produced from these cells." 


Prof. Etgar told Climatech MEA that the new cells may have various applications, such as on water sources and reservoirs, not interrupting the life of water plants and creatures living underneath. 


The research in Prof. Lioz Etgar's group focuses on the development of radically new nanostructures and molecular materials for the production of innovative third generation solar cells.


Sources: Hebrew University, Energy Live News