Alejandro Goñi

Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona

Is it true that you don’t wear the same clothes in winter as in summer? In photovoltaics it is not the same whether the panels are on Earth, Mars or the moon. The trick is that lighting conditions depend on each particular application. For example: in cities, we want smart buildings that use both their exterior facades and interior lighting to produce energy, or the location of solar farms at heights (mountains), valleys or different geolocations. The solar simulator is the equipment used to determine the efficiency of a solar cell under standard conditions. However, developing each of the mentioned applications would require a different luminaire that adjusts to the lighting conditions of each equipment, which is cost-prohibitive.

At ICMAB-CSIC we have found a solution to this problem: A patented [1] and award-winning [2] light source called SOLS that is capable of producing a beam of light whose spectrum can be tailored on-demand, varying the intensity and range of colors [3]. The versatility of its technology makes SOLS a unique instrument for spectroscopic characterization of materials, which we hope will be an accelerator not only of the technologies already mentioned but also of others such as agrovoltaics, underwater photovoltaics or space. In fact, SOLS has been key to the development of novel lateral-tandem (RAINBOW) organic solar cells at ICMAB-CSIC [4].