a clear path to achieving that. “We can further tailor the components now that we’ve
improved our understanding of what we
need to get to higher efficiencies,” says
Evelyn Wang, an associate professor who
helped lead the effort.
The researchers are also exploring ways
to take advantage of another strength of
solar thermophotovoltaics. Because heat
is easier to store than electricity, it should
be possible to divert excess amounts gener-
ated by the device to a thermal storage sys-
tem, which could then be used to produce
electricity even when the sun isn’t shining.
If the researchers can incorporate a stor-
age device and ratchet up efficiency levels,
the system could one day deliver clean,
cheap—and continuous—solar power.