Solar Photovoltaic Technology: Latest technology in solar power generation
Solar Photovoltaic Technology: There is a lot more advancement in solar technologies since the 1960s when they made their debut. When previously solar photovoltaic cells were seen as a thing of the future, today, technological breakthroughs have positioned the industry for huge growth. The new developments in Solar Photovoltaic Technology promise to contribute to the industry’s success.
A solar PV array is a combination of hundreds or thousands of solar cells that individually convert the radiation from the sunlight to electric currents, where an average solar cell is approximately 15% efficient while the 85% of the sunlight hitting the cells doesn’t get converted into electricity. Recently, a group of researchers from Toronto University unveiled a new type of light-sensitive nanoparticle called colloidal quantum dots that may believe to offer a less expensive and more expensive material for solar cells. These panels using this technology were found to be up to 8% more efficient at converting sunlight from the previous ones as they weren’t capable of functioning outdoors and hence not practical applications for the solar market. Gallium Arsenide – a new material discovered could make solar PV systems nearly three times more efficient than existing products. These are the ‘’Triple Junction Cells” that are much more efficient as they can be chemically altered to optimize the sunlight capture. They use a sensor-driven window blind that can track sunlight along with ‘light-pipes’.
As scientists were finding new ways to store energy generated by the Solar Photovoltaic Systems, however, previously electricity is largely a ‘use it or lose it’ type resource but once it is generated by solar PV systems, the electricity goes on to the grid and must be used immediately or be lost. And because the sunlight won’t be available for 24 hours a day, the solar PV systems will be meeting electrical demands for the specific duration of the day. As a result, a lot will be lost if it’s not used. Although there are a lot of inexpensive batteries that are available in the market, have a pretty short shelf life, making them not the most attractive options for the consumers and utility companies. Scientists are, therefore, exploring different ways to store this electricity so that it can be used on demand.
A company called Novatec Solar recently bring something as a promising energy storage solution for Solar PV systems using a Molten Salt storage technology. This involves inorganic salts to transfer energy generated by solar PV systems into solar thermal using heat transfer fluid, resulting the solar plants can operate at temperatures over 500 degrees Celsius which would result in higher power output. This makes the cost to store solar would be lowered significantly and utility companies could not meet peak demand during prime daylight hours.
In another project, Solar Panel with Built-In Battery researchers recently announced that they created a battery which is 20% more efficient and 25% cheaper than anything on the market. This is the design of a rechargeable battery that is built into the solar panel itself, rather than operating as two standalone systems.