It may seem hard for some people to imagine, but a simple metal material may be all that is standing in the way of big changes in renewable energy. In fact, the inclusion of this very basic type of metal may be all that is needed for something such as solar power to be catapulted into an arena where it can challenge the synonymous nature of grid power. That one simple, yet extremely effective, metal is iron.
Many experts believe one of the biggest impediments to the expansion of solar power use is the cost. Solar power has been around for quite some time, and the ability to harness the energy created by the sun as been around for a while. However, the technology has gone through somewhat of a renaissance over the past 20 years and, today, solar power systems are more robust than they’ve ever been thanks to technology. Unfortunately, there are certain aspects of solar technology that have held this type of power generation back.
The way in which a solar cell is manufactured is one of the biggest obstacles because the production of a solar cell typically includes ruthenium. This particular product is extremely expensive. However, up until now, it has been the only method allowing sunlight to be captured and converted to electricity. While there have been attempts to replace this expensive metal with something cheaper, up until now, the only thing cheaper materials have been able to do is to create a lot of heat. They failed to convert sunlight into electricity.
Recently, nanostructure technology that uses titanium dioxide and a specific dye have been effective in capturing sunlight and converting it to electricity. The basis, however, for this process is the use of iron. This could radically change cost issues associated with solar energy.
Many experts believe reducing the cost of manufacturing solar cells is the key to making solar power more effective and affordable, thus making it more widely used. If expensive manufacturing techniques are replaced by more affordable solar cell production, it’s easy to see how solar power can become much more of a player than it currently is. If you’d like to learn more about this exciting new prospect, discover info here.