California-based HyperSolar has developed a solar panel film that, using “cutting edge photonics techniques,” can move specific light spectra to the places they are needed most in order to increase solar panel efficiency. Using this film instead of traditional solar panel film, efficiency can reportedly be increased 300%!
Using this efficient, new technology, the cost of solar panel installations could theoretically be cut in half. Of course, the higher efficiency means a faster return on investment (ROI), something which is already quite fast in many U.S. locations and beats the heck out of playing the stock market in some places.
“With HyperSolar as the top layer, manufacturers can use significantly fewer solar cells in the production of solar panels, thereby dramatically reducing the cost per watt of electricity,” HyperSolar says. “We believe this is a revolutionary way to make solar panels.”
HyperSolar says that its patent-pending is primarily based on 4 innovations:
- Micro Concentrators – A matrix of small and highly efficient solar concentrators are used to collect sunlight throughout the day from a wide range of angles without requiring mechanisms to track the sun.
- Photonics Light Routing – An innovative solid-state photonics network underneath the Micro Concentrators transports light from points of collection at the top, to points of concentrated output at the bottom. This results in a very thin layer.
- Photonics Light Separation – Innovative techniques are employed in the photonics network to separate the collected sunlight into different spectrum ranges, where they can be routed to different output points at the bottom where different types of solar cells may be placed.
- Photonics Thermal Management – Solar cells can only convert a part of the solar spectrum into electricity. The unused portion turns into heat, which actually degrades the performance of the solar cell. HyperSolar’s technology filters out the unused solar spectrum to deliver maximum useful solar energy to the solar cell and avoid overheating.
Looks like a pretty promising technology.
What do you all think?
Related Story: International Solar PV Nearly Doubled, PV Growth Doubled in 2010
Image Credits: HyperSolar
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