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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Staebler–Wronski effect

The Staebler–Wronski effect was first described in 1977. It refers to the unexplained drop-off in the efficiency of silicon-based photovoltaic cells - as used in solar panels etc - after a few hundred hours of light exposure (So-called 'Light Soaking').

The efficiency can drop by as much as 30%. This has far-reaching implications for the production and large-scale use of silicon solar panels etc.

There are a few suggested explanations of the effect, but none has yet been formally adopted.

See: Wikipedia

Notes:

The effect only applies to amorphous silicon cells (as compared to nano-crystalline types)

It can be repeatedly reversed by heating the cells - this mechanism is also unexplained.

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