Stanford University scientists are testing a new design to keep solar cells cool by guiding unwanted thermal radiation away with a layer of specially patterned silica glass. This new method of cooling takes a passive approach to help improve efficiency and lifespan of solar cells.
The scientists embedded tiny pyramid and cone-shaped structures on a thin layer of silica glass that redirects unwanted heat from the surface of solar cells back into space. Currently, solar cells are actively cooled by ventilation or coolants and require additional energy to perform cooling. This new design allows solar cells to be passively cooled reducing heat without using extra energy.