The Next Big Things in Solar Panel Technology

Complacency is the workshop of true failure and not failure itself. Solar technology manufacturers, innovators, and researchers continue to advance the next-generation technology's capabilities to deliver outstanding power generation that will finally reduce existing energy technologies to obsoletion. Here are some of them.

Molten Salt as Storage

Novatech Solar has found a way to use inorganic salt to transfer energy between solar panels and heat transfer fluid. If this process becomes a wide implementation for most solar technologies, it can drive down manufacturing, installation, and production processes.

Solar Roadways

Lining highways and roadways with solar panels allow the self-sufficient grid to power a town or city. While it might take up so much land, its long-term efficiency is undeniably beneficial.

Doing Away With Silicon Semiconductors

Magnesium chloride might soon become the norm after semiconductors become obsolete, thanks to cadmium telluride film that can store electricity.

Built-in Batteries

Building a solar panel with a battery becomes a more cost-effective and installation-efficient process than selling the two technologies separately. Many manufacturers are looking into this development deeply.

Learn about other latest technologies from Alternative Energy's post below.

Advances in Solar Cell Technology

Researchers have longed looked for ways to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar cells - the life blood of solar PV systems. A solar PV array is comprised of hundreds, sometimes thousands of solar cells, that individually convert radiant sun light into electrical currents. The average solar cell is approximately 15% efficient, which means nearly 85% of the sunlight that hits them does not get converted into electricity. As such, scientists have constantly been experimenting with new technologies to boost this light capture and conversion.

Light-Sensitive Nanoparticles.

Recently, a group of scientists at the University of Toronto unveiled a new type of light-sensitive nanoparticle called colloidal quantum dots, that many believe will offer a less expensive and more flexible material for solar cells. Specifically, the new materials use n-type and p-type semiconductors - but ones that can actually function outdoors. This is a unique discovery since previous designs weren't capable of functioning outdoors and therefore not practical applications for the solar market. University of Toronto researchers discovered that n-type materials bind to oxygen - the new colloidal quantum dots don't bind to air and therefore can maintain their stability outside. This helps increase radiant light absorption. Panels using this new technology were found to be up to eight percent more efficient at converting sunlight.

Gallium Arsenide.

Researchers at Imperial College University in London believe they have discovered a new material - gallium arsenide - that could make solar PV systems nearly three times more efficient than existing products on the market. The solar cells are called "triple junction cells" and they're much more efficient, because they can be chemically altered in a manner that optimizes sunlight capture. The model uses a sensor-driven window blind that can track sun light along with "light-pipes" that guide the light into the system.

Advances in Energy Storage (Continue)

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