Not even a global pandemic can stop new solar power innovations. Despite the restrictions and difficulties caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we’ve seen quite a number of advancements and innovations over the past couple of months in the field of solar energy. Check out some of the most interesting ones below.
Highest-efficiency perovskite-based solar modules
You may have heard of perovskites before. These are materials that are being looked at as integral to next-generation solar power technologies. Perovskites hold a lot of promise because they have efficiencies similar to silicon when it comes to their capability in terms of power conversion. In addition, being lightweight and semi-transparent, they are extremely suitable for solar energy production applications.
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have made strides in developing a perovskite solar module. They have recently reported 18.1 percent power conversion efficiency. This is the highest so far on record for a device that uses pervoskite as the main material at a size larger than 10 cm2. This breakthrough indicates how good perovskite-based modules are able to be. In a market like Singapore, that’s looking to expand its solar power usage, innovations like this are especially good.
Innovations in PV show greater longevity
One of the frequently asked questions by prospective solar panel buyers is how long the equipment will last. After all, panels and other devices don’t come all that cheap. A review of utility-scale photovoltaic projects built from 2007 through 2016 in the United States found that the newer equipment degrade at a slower rate compared to older pieces of PV tech.
This proves that materials research, manufacturing processes, and general technical innovations in the production of solar equipment keeps improving. With that knowledge, consumers can be sure that they are getting a lot more value out of current solar hardware.
Double-sided solar panels
One interesting piece of solar panel technology is something called bifacial photovoltaic panels. Bifacial simply means having two working sides or surfaces. That’s literally what these are: solar panels with solar-energy-capturing cells on both sides. The older more common types have cells on one side only.
This isn’t exactly a new kind of technology, as these panels have been around for a few years already. But now, some companies are exploring the use of such panels in tandem. These use a system that will allow them to tilt in order to chase the optimal angle facing the sun’s rays.
This gives the most exposure to direct sunlight. At the same time, the other side of the panel absorbs sunlight bouncing off the surface behind it. Researchers estimate a 35% efficiency gain from a complete form of this system.
Innovations mean better large scale solar systems
It’s safe to say that not even a state of pandemic can slow down the advance of the solar energy industry. Energy investors are understandably upbeat about the future of renewable energy. At the same time industry players are veering away from fossil fuels with their carbon footprint. The influx of interest and investment for solar keeps soaring.
Smaller-scale installations are understandably stalling a bit with lockdowns and other restrictions. At the same time, larger-scale projects are booming. Despite any setbacks the pandemic is causing, it’s clear that solar remains strong and gearing up for even more growth and innovations in the months and years to come.
Have any questions?
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