Top 5 Solar Energy Technologies

There are top 5 solar energy technologies which are presently shaping the future of solar power. From bio-solar cells to reshaping solar spectrum to turn light into electricity to concentrated PV cells & squeezing more out of the sun to other ways to boost solar power, the future looks quite bright for solar power.

  • Bio-Solar Cells – Researchers have found ways to connect nine biological-solar cells into bio-solar panels. This will help in continuously generating electricity from the panel. This was achieved by connecting nine identical bio-solar cells in a 3×3 pattern. This is to make it a scalable & stackable bio-solar panel. This panel will be able to continuously generate electricity from photosynthesis & respiratory activity of the bacteria in 12 day-night cycles. This is the latest step in using cyanobacteria as a source for generating clean & green solar energy. Cyanobacteria are found in almost every aquatic & terrestrial habitat on earth. These findings are currently available online & published in the June edition of Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical.
  • Reshaping Solar Spectrum to Turn Light into Electricity – Bulk of the expenses incurred during installing solar panels account for land & labor. Therefore, it could be made cheaper if less land was required to accommodate solar panels. The idea is to generate more power with each solar cell. Researchers at the University of California have found that combining inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals with organic molecules can succeed in up-converting two low energy photons into a single high-energy photon in the visible & near infrared region of the solar spectrum. This passes through the photovoltaic materials making up the solar system. Up-converted photons are readily absorbed by photovoltaic cells generating electricity from which was normally wasted. Infrared portion of the solar system can boost photovoltaic efficiency by over thirty percent.
  • Squeezing More Out of the Sun – Without any doubt, the sun is the best sustainable energy source on earth. However, the low efficiency of PV cells is the problem. Almost 80% of PV panels that are installed have a performance of 15% or lower. Moreover, if the panels are not found to be tracking with the sun, annual tilt losses can add up to minus seventy percent. Architects have now found ways to ‘squeeze more juice out of the sun’. This is also possible in low-light regions by creating a spherical sun power generator. This technology combines spherical geometry principles with dual-axis tracking system. Within a much smaller surface area, it allows twice the yield of conventional solar panels. Futuristic designs can be fully rotational & most suitable for walls of buildings, inclined surfaces & anyplace with access to the sky.
  • Concentrated PV Cells – Researchers at IBM have found a way to make concentrated PV cells. These cells are more efficient in converting energy from the sun into electricity. With help of this, it is now possible to increase 10 times the concentration of light without melting them. Eventually, this makes it possible to boost five times the amount of usable electrical energy produced. This technology uses a large lens to focus light onto a relatively small portion of PV semiconductor material. This will also reduce costs as only a fraction of the semiconductor material is used. This is achieved by placing an ultrathin layer of gallium & indium between the two surfaces. These metals have a very high thermal conductivity since they are in liquid form. Moreover, they are extremely thin around 10 micrometers. This system concentrates solar radiation about 2000 times & converts 80% of this useful energy & is able to power several average homes.
  • Ways to Boost Solar Power – Scientists at the University of Toronto have come up with a new type of light-sensitive nanoparticles which are known as colloidal quantum dots. These offer a less expensive & more flexible material for solar cells. This material is specifically useful for p-type & n-type semiconductors which can function outdoors. They are also helpful in increasing radiant light absorption alongside offering stability indoors. Solar panels using this technology were found to 8% more efficient at converting sunlight. Another material gallium arsenide was found to be three times more efficient than existing products by researchers at Imperial College University in London. These solar cells named as ‘Triple Junction Cells’ are more efficient because they chemically alter to optimize capturing sunlight.

Since prices of solar cells are falling, it is fast becoming an economical energy choice for businesses & homeowners. However, it still remains to be seen that it becomes more affordable for soft costs like permitting, zoning & hooking it up with the local power grid.

Next Generation of IOT Based Solar Street Lights

GSM based solar street lights from Intelizon is the next level of outdoor solar lighting solutions. It allows you to remotely control & monitor with help of your mobile phone. Wi-Fi, SMS, Bluetooth & Hotspot can also be used for remote monitoring & controlling this solar street light. Advantages which come with Zonstreet IOT include self-autonomy, motion detection, remote control, remote monitoring & tracking of overall system health. This IOT based solar street light is most ideal for factories, petrol pumps, campuses, villages & communities.

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Top 5 Solar Energy Technologies
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