New discovery in solar energy

Algarve University is part of an international research programme which has discovered new technology that will improve the energy produced through solar panels.

The study involves the university and the Russian Physico-Technical Institute of St. Petersburg but is headed by Professor Tom Gregorkiewicz from the Dutch University in Amsterdam.

The final research papers and an interview with the team leader are due to be published in the February edition of Nature Photonics Magazine and mentioned in Nature, one of the most respected magazines dedicated to science discoveries.

According to Peter Stallinga of the electronic department (CEOT) at Algarve University, the fraction of sun energy captured by the solar panels and transformed to power may rise exponentially. At present, a solar panel converts only 10 per cent of the sunlight energy captured. In future, this rate may grow to 50 per cent, he says.

However, the discovery needs now to be confirmed through continuing experimental specific projects at the Algarve University facilities.

The Algarve was chosen as a centre for this research because it benefits from a strategic location, receiving the highest rate of solar energy in Europe.

After the Kyoto Protocol and, more recently, the Bali agreement, any improvement in the solar energy production must be welcomed, said Peter Stallinga.

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