New Transparent Coating Cools Solar Cells And Boosts Efficiency

Posted: Sep 23 2015, 12:49am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 23 2015, 9:57pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


New Transparent Coating Radiates Heat and Boosts Solar Panel Efficiency
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The coating developed by Stanford researchers keeps solar cells cool and helps convert more light into electricity

Conventional solar panels have a big problem in them. Their cells get hotter as the sun beats down on them and they convert less light into electricity. 

To solve this problem, researchers at Stanford University have developed a new transparent coating. The coating will radiate the heat of the Sun, cool solar cells cool and boost their efficiency. 

The coating is created with the thin silica material. All you need is to lay it on the top of a traditional solar cell. It will let pass sunlight and emit heat from infrared rays.

“Solar arrays must face the sun to function, even though that heat is detrimental to efficiency,” said Shanhui Fan, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford and one of the inventors of the sheet. “Our thermal overlay allows sunlight to pass through, preserving or even enhancing sunlight absorption, but it also cools the cells by radiating the heat out and improving the cell efficiency.”

The new transparent coating is based on another technology created by the same group of researchers last year. The Stanford team tested their technology on a solar absorber and showed that coating allowed sunlight to pass through the solar absorber and reduced its heat by as much as 23 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The temperature is good enough to improve the efficiency of conventional crystalline solar cells with an efficiency of 20% by over 1%.

Researchers suggest that their newly developed coating will work best in dry, clear environments which are also preferred for placing large solar panels. They also believe that this overlay can be upgraded to make them more compatible with commercial and industrial requirements. 

“This is not necessarily the only way,” said Aaswath P. Raman, co-author of the study. “New techniques and machines for manufacturing these kinds of patterns will continue to advance.” 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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