Stanford team develops coating to boost solar cell efficiency

 mono and poly crystalline solar cells

When solar cells get hot they lose efficiency. Researchers have developed a coating that keeps cells cooler.

Contrary to popular thought, heat reduces solar cell efficiency. As the cells heat up from the direct glare of the sun, their efficiency in converting light into electricity drops markedly. Depending on the system used and the location, losses can reduce output up to 10 to 25 percent.

This conundrum has vexed the industry for many years. After all, solar cells need the sun to work and this generates heat. So how to solve this problem and increase the light-to-electricity efficiency of solar cells?

Enter a team of researchers from Stanford University who have developed a transparent coating for the cells. The film keeps the cells cool as they heat up under the sun. Made of patterned silicon, the secret to this remarkable film is that, while it allows visible light to pass, it also absorbs and even emits the infrared rays, the source of thermal radiation. [Read more…]

Solar + Flywheel Microgrid Saves 400,000 Litres of Diesel Annually

solar diesel

Solar has been installed with a huge flywheel to smooth its output in WA. The result is a town that is 60% solar powered, and a 400,000 litre reduction in annual diesel usage. Great Aussie innovation!

We’ve all seen the success of solar energy in our cities and regional towns. Australians are voting with their rooftops for clean, green solar power and the trend is increasing as solar reaches grid parity. But what of communities in our vast Outback? What of our small remote towns currently reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as diesel? It is here that microgrids, solar energy and the Outback are coming together to create a new, cleaner energy future.

In doing so, these microgrids for remote communities are giving the country a glimpse of a new way of accessing energy. [Read more…]

Selling Solar By Making It Look Good!

Last week, CSEM debuted the world’s first white solar modules with the promise of solar panels in any colour you wish. This new product has great potential to increase the deployment of solar. Why is that? Because it’ll look good.

While it may sound petty, many have been hesitant to switch to solar power because the modules stick out like a sore thumb on buildings. Now that CSEM has developed solar panels that will blend into a building’s structure with no visible cells or connections, architects can install solar panels into their design without having to compromise the aesthetic of their project.

Check out their video here (and marvel at how many coffees the voiceover guy must have had – gee he sounds excited!):

To read more about this story, click the article here:: White Solar Modules the Next Thing in Building Integrated PV?

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