Electronics > Power/Renewable Energy/EV's

Research aims to double solar panel efficiency

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chris_leyson:
Caught this snippet from the BBC this morning, researchers in Switzerland are aiming to double solar panel efficiency http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37553532 they've claimed 36%. It's a very clever idea, first trick is the use of lenses to focus the light and the second is to use tiny high performance space grade solar cells. Website at https://insolight.ch/. Design of the tracking system could be a bit difficult as it would have to work in all weather conditions and for the panels lifetime, but not impossible. The lens design is going to be interesting, will have to see if they have a patent on that. Wish them the best of luck.

riccardo.pittini:
Solar cells and panels have been proved to be able to go well above 40% (if I recall right even 46%).

Their main concept is the tracking system which is for sure a simple good idea.

Even though they will manage to use very small, highly efficient (but expensive) solar cells, I think there will be some thermal problems in order to cool the tiny cell elements.

foursquare:
This is a marvelous thread! The power of solar panels was already helpful as it is, but just think about what's going to happen after science do find a way to double its efficiency. We might see the world where we'll no longer need electric cables and the such.

Kleinstein:
Increasing the efficiency by concentration and tracking is an old idea. The very high > 40% efficiency numbers usually ignore the loss due to the lens / mirror. So it is the efficiency after concentration.

Concentration only works if the sky is clear - even a little mist already reduces the power quite a lot.  So it might be a good option at desert or similar places, but nothing for less good places with less sun. Tracking also adds quite some costs and limits the fraction of the land used (otherwise you would get shading at some time of the day). So non tracking cells could have nearly twice the cell area one the same land.

tronde:
What about the Australian researchers achieving 40%?
https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-technology/unsw-researchers-set-world-record-solar-energy-efficiency

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