Farmers just got a little help in their battle against Mother Nature in the form of a new solar cell that is the first of its kind.
The cell is capable of both transmitting the red and green wavelengths of light that plants need for photosynthesis while also retaining the capacity to filter the rest of the energy into electricity that can be used to power a greenhouse.
Unlike existing silicon solar cells, which perform less efficiently in high temperatures,.. these dye-sensitive solar cells perform efficiently,.. even if the tempreature indoors is above 60 degrees Celsius.
[Interview : Jung Sung-hoon, Researcher
Eagon Window & Door System] "This new generation of solar cells is less affected by temperatures and the angle of incidence, and is therefore able to produce 1.5 to 1.7 times more energy than a silicon solar cell."
The cells are capable of providing a greenhouse with 100-percent of the energy it needs to operate, without additional gasoline or electricity.
[Interview : Kim Ju-hee, Jeollabuk-Do Agricultural Research & Extension Services
] "Solar energy can be used to grow plants, without incurring additional heating costs."
Energy produced in the greenhouse during the daytime can also be used throughout the night to boost crop growth.
[Interview : Jung Sung-su, Jeollabuk-Do Agricultural Research & Extension Services
] "Greenhouses will be able to meet their energy needs without having to get energy from outside, which will significantly reduce production costs and thereby make the crops grown there more competitve."
Farmers suffering the effects of climate change are likely to benefit from the solar cells, which remain highly efficient even in a heatwave, such as the one that hit Korea this summer.
Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News.