Recent Developments and Breakthroughs in Solar Energy
Solar energy has emerged as a leading renewable energy source, with a high rate of growth and widespread adoption around the world. The solar industry is constantly evolving, with companies introducing new and innovative designs to improve the efficiency and power output of solar panels while reducing costs.
In the past, solar energy opportunities were limited, expensive, and underutilized. However, with increasing concerns for the environment, solar energy development has rapidly improved. Governments are investing billions of dollars to further advance solar technology, and Indian solar energy companies are at the forefront of this trend.
While there will likely be continued technical advancements in the solar industry, 2022 is poised to be a particularly significant year for the growth of solar energy. With the continued push for renewable energy, it is important to keep up with the latest solar energy sustainable development.
This article highlights some of the most recent technological innovations in the solar industry that are set to revolutionize the field. With continued research and investment, the future of solar energy looks even brighter than before.
PSC: Perovskite Solar Cells (PSC)
Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs) are a promising new technology in the solar energy industry. They are made from calcium titanium oxide and offer several advantages over traditional silicon solar cells. PSCs are easier and cheaper to produce as they do not require strict quality control, and they are more efficient at converting solar energy into electrical energy. In just a decade, PSCs have achieved a conversion efficiency of 28%, while silicon cells are limited to around 25%.
In addition to their performance benefits, PSCs also have practical advantages such as their flexibility, lightweight, and semi-transparency. This opens up new possibilities for water-resistant solar cells, such as window coatings and painted applications, with a current conversion efficiency of 11%.
However, PSCs are still in their early stages of development and face several challenges. They are weak and have a relatively short lifespan, and there are concerns about lead content that could harm the environment. Before it can be commercialized, the PSC technology needs to overcome these limitations and continue to improve its electrical conversion efficiency.
Solar energy is being explored in new and innovative ways, including the use of solar-generating fabrics. These fabrics can be used as curtains, sunshades, pool covers, shelter covers, and even clothing.
Wearable solar technologies have existed for some time, such as PV system watches and other electronics. However, solar textiles have seen significant advancements in recent years.
Fabrics can be bonded with thin PV panels or stitched to them, but scientists are exploring new techniques to turn each fibre into a micro solar panel with photoactive chemicals. This would result in solar-powered clothes becoming a reality. Although the energy produced by solar textiles is minimal, it can still be used to recharge portable electronic devices.
Solar Panel Skins
Many homeowners shy away from installing solar panels due to their lack of visual appeal and being an eyesore on their roofs. However, solar panel development has now made it possible for homeowners to have an attractive and stylish solution.
These skins match the style and colour of the roof and are designed to blend in, making them barely noticeable. The use of these skins has no impact on the generation of solar power, making it an innovative advancement in the industry. With solar panel skins, homeowners can now choose to switch to renewable energy sources without sacrificing the look of their homes.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is a type of solar solution that combines architecture and energy generation. BIPV can be used for canopies, facades, rooftops, walls, and sunroofs to create an attractive exterior while generating power. The system can also be used for on-site consumption and any excess power can be fed back to the grid through net metering.
BIPV systems use solar glass photovoltaic cells, also known as solar glass, which allow sunlight to enter the building while also generating energy. This makes BIPV a smart choice for those looking to renovate their properties as it not only provides cost savings, but also offers thermal efficiency, easy maintenance, and soundproofing benefits.
An innovative PV technology, solar-powered highways, is currently being tested. The famous international roadway, Route 66, has been selected as the location for testing the solar-powered sidewalk technology. The side streets along Route 66 are known for their potential to generate renewable energy and are equipped with LED lamps that provide lighting at night and have the ability to clear snow through thermal heating during winter. After successful sidewalk testing, the plan is to construct these highways on approved sections of Route 66.
Multi-junction Solar Panels
Solar panels with multi-junctions, also known as stacked cells, offer higher efficiency than single-junction solar cells. Despite their contribution to clean renewable energy, they are currently too expensive for widespread domestic use.
These panels work by utilizing different semiconductive materials to store solar radiation at different wavelengths. The efficiency of multi-junction photovoltaic cells is remarkable, with six junctions achieving a cell efficiency of 47 per cent.
Heterostructure Technology in Solar Energy
Heterostructure technology is a major advancement in solar technology that was first introduced by Sanyo in the 1980s. The technology aimed to increase the efficiency and output of solar panels. Although Sanyo discontinued the technology in 2010, several solar companies are now pursuing research in heterostructure technology to improve the performance of their panels.
Heterostructure technology involves the use of thin films composed of an amorphous-SI coating and single- and phenylene wafers parallel to the axis. The additional photovoltaic (PV) layers increase the storage of solar energy and result in higher power generation.
This technology has the advantage of being less expensive than first-generation solar panels and boasts a higher efficiency of 21%. The use of amorphous-Si in heterostructure technology improves heat performance, making it superior to PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) technology.
The Alpha series of solar products now incorporate heterostructure technology, providing efficient and reliable solar energy solutions.
The rapid advancements in solar technology are great news for those considering solar panel installations. These advancements in efficiency, storage, and equipment functionality have led to increased power output from solar panels and reduced costs.
Many people in the local community have already switched to renewable energy to protect the environment and save money. With new solar technology and energy solutions, we are moving closer to the goal of low-cost, zero-emission power.
Futr Energy, one of India’s top solar energy providers, stays updated on these developments to make the transition to solar power a reality. Our team of experienced project scientists and solar experts help businesses, commercial facilities, and industries set up the best on-grid or off-grid solar systems. We provide expert advice on solar panel technologies and methods to maximize their effectiveness.