The field of solar energy is continuously undergoing innovation and discoveries. As we move towards a more eco-friendly future, the pioneers in this field are looking for more and more affordable solutions to harness its potential to the highest. In the past few years itself, we have seen a lot of milestones in solar energy storage, wearable solar tech, solar efficiency, and even solar design tech. The two primary technologies that dominate solar power innovations include- photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). To that effect, a lot of new changes have revolved around the core concepts of these technologies.
Here are six new technologies that have captured our attention:
Light Sensitive Nanoparticles:
Albeit a recent innovation, this one may prove to be quite revolutionary for solar power in general. It is basically a technology that aims at providing more flexible and affordable materials for solar cells. So, if you are acquainted with how solar cells work, you would know about the kind of conductors used in them. The new materials suggested also use n-type and p-type semiconductors; however, these can actually be functional outside, something which was a challenge in the previousdesigns. Discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto, these new colloidal quantum dots do not bind to air and hence are able to maintain stability outside. This works for harnessing solar power because the radiant light absorption is much higher here. Basically, panels that use this technology are estimated to be nearly eight percent more efficient in the conversion of sunlight.
Bifacial Solar Modules:
Bifacial solar modules are one of the most revolutionary technologies pertaining to solar panels. Unlike the mono facial solar panels that have been used, by and large, bifacial modules produce solar power efficiently from both sides. When a bifacial module gets installed on a highly reflective surface, such as a white TPO roof or on a ground which has light-colored stones, it can produce a lot more energy as compared to a mono facial solar panel. It is estimated to increase about 30%production just from the amount of extra power generation in the rear side of the module. Bifacial modules actually come in many different designs. While some can be framed, some are frameless. You even have the option of clear back sheets and dual glass here. The design that should be adopted depends upon your requirements.
Thin Film Solar:
Harvesting solar energy does not necessarily mean using huge solar panels. Now, thanks to the different innovations in solar thin-film technology, it has become a lot more accessible. Solar films can easily be printed in rolls, which do not only reduce the cost but also open new possibilities of placing solar power in different places.
Hairy Solar Panels:
While the name sounds very unprofessional, this type of solar panel is definitely something to watch out for. It uses the core of nanotechnology wherein light-absorbing nanowires are combined with carbon nanotube fabric. These nanowires can help in better absorption energy as compared to silicon, which may help in a more efficient solar energy harvesting.
Solar windows are another innovation to watch out for. These windows are mainly treated with a new electricity generation coating which remains transparent and yet has the ability to convert sunshine into solar power. The coating of these solar windows has the ability to produce the smallest functional solar cells in the world. (These measures less than 1/4th of rice grain size). Hence, this compact yet efficient style of solar power is definitely an innovation that will go a long
Floating Solar Panels:
There are many countries that are battling small spaces in order to mount solar systems. Since authorities find it challenging to put ground mount solar systems, especially in large farmland areas, more and more companies are coming up with ecological alternatives. For instance, one firm known as Ciel and Terre is working towards developing a large scale floating solar solution. This Hydrelio Floating PV system would allow the conventional PV panels to be installed on water bodiessuch as large reservoirs, lakes, canals, irrigation, tailing ponds and even hydroelectric dam reservoirs. It is definitely a solution that would work well with water-intensive industries where the scope of wasting both land and water is negligible.
For people who are intrigued by solar panel systems, there is yet a long list of innovations waiting to be unveiled. Right from efficiency upgrades to improvements in energy storage as well as equipment capabilities, there is plenty that this field is moving towards. All of these innovations are a testament to what the solar energy field can achieve and more.