Even though China thinks that their scientists are ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to developing solar energy, recent reports have proven otherwise. There is actually an expert team of scientists working hard at the University of New South Wales (NSW) located in Sydney, Australia that recently was able to gain one of the most prestigious awards, within the solar energy field.
A Major Discovery
Professor Wenham worked directly with his UNSW team in order to discover that hydrogen atoms that are capable of effectively countering defects located in silicon cells found within many types of solar panels. That discovery alone led to a vast number of improvements in the design of photovoltaic panels in general. This level of breakthrough was not expected to be discovered and developed for at least another ten years.
What is the Benefit?
The overall process that was defined and developed by Professor Wenham and his team makes it possible for cheap silicon to actually become much better at absorbing light than the very highest quality silicon. It was this discovery that led to this team being recognized publicly for their achievements and awarded an AF Harvey Engineering Research Prize worth $560,000 AU. They were also credited by the President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as playing a major role in the overall development and implementation of revolutionary silicon solar cell technology.
Exploring the Actual Results
Thanks to the hydrogenation process that was developed by Professor Wenham’s team, traditional silicon is now able to achieve a high level of performance and efficiency that is equivalent to commercial-grade, high-purity silicon – something that was not possible before their hard work led to this major achievement in science and technology.
What Will Be Done with the Money?
After receiving such a major cash prize, the team has already decided exactly how it will be spent. According to an interview conducted with Professor Wenham, the money will be used to expand a major research area that made it possible for this successful team to win their prize in the first place and gaining 30-percent efficiency on their solar cells.