5 Important Advances in Solar Technology

ABEST1 5 Important Advances in Solar Technology

Article by Ryan Frank

Committed to becoming energy independent, many researchers and scientists have been working around the clock for years trying to improve photovoltaic module technology (PV), a solar panel interconnected with solar cells that converts the sun’s energy into electricity. Their hard work has paid off because there have been many dramatic breakthroughs in PV module, five of the most promising being:

Third-Generation Solar Cells – The main properties of traditional solar cells to process and mass produce is very costly. The silicon inside traditional solar cells is what converts the energy of sunlight into electricity. Second generation thin films might be less costly, but could rapidly deplete our natural resources. To be cost effective, third-generation solar cells are being created from a variety of new materials besides the silicon-based solar cells.

Sensor Solar Panels – Unlike its predecessor with its flat-sheet shape of interconnected solar cells, sensor solar panel is shaped like a drive-in movie theater that helps the sensors automatically track the sun. This concentrated sensor technology can intensify the sun’s power 500 to 1,000 times, at its highest peak generating 25 kilowatts.

Stirling Energy System (SES) – A different alternative to the PV, but just as effective or even better is the Stirling Engine System. Because of its refined design, SES is a better fit for the desert environment (where most solar modules are located) than the PV systems that needs water to operate. Using thermal energy to heat gas, which expands to push a piston. As the as gas cools, it contracts and cycles an engine. SES has shown 30 percent efficiency, superior to the 20 percent of most current PV systems. You can find more information from your local San Diego, CA solar power provider.

High-Performance Photovoltaics – The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been exploring the possibility of a high performance PV that can ultimately double the sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiencies. Although this project is still under investigation for wide ranges of complex issues, it is expected to pass over to a commercial-prototype product.

Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) – BIPV focuses on the integration of PV panels into buildings during construction. Traditional building materials, such as roofs, windows overhangs, and walls would be replaced with BIPV to improve the building’s aesthetics, system reliability while reducing costs and utility transmission losses. This project is also under research by the NREL.

About the Author

Ryan Frank is an avid writer and blogger living in San Diego, CA.

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