Scientists use lenses to nearly double the efficiency of solar roof panels

How Scientists Achieved 39.7% Efficiency [2020]

Scientists use lenses to nearly double the efficiency of solar roof panels

A team of Swiss scientists has developed solar cells standardized for mass production,  which convert 29% of light into electricity. Efficiency gains come from built-in lenses that focus radiation onto tiny, highly efficient photovoltaic cells..

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique de lausanne (EPFL) were looking for ways to increase the performance of solar panels for rooftops and decided to use the same types of cells that are commonly used in satellites.. However, although they are effective, they are also very expensive.. Therefore, to reduce the cost, a special protective glass was developed. from optical lenses that concentrate sunlight approximately 100 times and direct it onto tiny, high-performance elements. As a result, solar cells occupy less than 0.5% of the solar cell surface. Additionally, a mechanism has been developed with which you can move the cells horizontally a few millimeters in both directions to take into account the change in the position of the sun during the day..

The technology has reached 36% efficiency in laboratory conditions, but since then, three inventors have launched a startup Insolight and standardized panels for mass production with a 29% yield.. Though this figure is significantly lower than the initial result, but it is still almost twice as high as that of existing competitors with 17-19% conversion. Potentially, the device could even be mounted on top of other solar panels to improve efficiency..

Scientists use lenses to nearly double the efficiency of solar roof panels

Researchers have already tested the panels in real conditions on the rooftops of EPFL buildings, where they worked consistently under all weather changes. Insolight says that in sunny regions, their solution will allow households to reduce their energy costs by up to 30%. Scientists are currently in talks with several solar cell manufacturers to license their technology. First Commercial Startup Panels Should Go To Market In 2022.

We also previously reported that Hyundai and Kia will launch vehicles with solar panels on the roof and hood in 2019..

text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne