Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Sep 20

A Power Sticker to Boost Solar Power Generation

Posted in Energy Inventions | Photovoltaic Cells | Solar Power

Solar Power Sticker New and unique ways of making solar panels more efficient in power generation are coming to light every day. The new kid in the block of one such device is a large transparent sticker applied to the front of the panel which increases the power output by about 10% or so. Genie Lens Technologies is the firm which has developed these polymer film stickers. These polymer films are imprinted with special kind of microstructures. Even the panels that have been prior installed and working can have these polymer stickers applied easily to them and the stickers will boost their efficiency.

Specialty of the microstructures:

The microstructures on the polymer stickers are capable of bending and redirecting the sunlight. These materials in the panel are made to absorb more light and so more power is generated. Seth Weiss, CEO & Cofounder of Genie Lens, Englewood, CO is confident of the advantages of using these special films.

Three purposes of the polymer films:

There are three main actions that are activated by these polymer films:

  • Preventing light from reflecting off the solar panel surfaces.
  • Trapping light to stay inside the semiconducting materials which absorb the light and then convert it into power.
  • Redirecting the light that comes in so that the light will travel along the semiconductor material surface and not just pass through the material; this increases the likelihood of absorption of light more than before.

Special algorithms for the microstructures:

All the above three purposes are achieved by the special pattern the microstructures. The polymer films direct and re-direct the light rays that fall on the solar panel. The glass cover that protects the solar panels, the semiconductor material that is within and the panel’s back surface – all react with the polymer films in a special pattern.

Just so re-direction of light rays:

The polymer films bend the light just the optimal amount so it will not be reflected off and lost. It makes the light to be redirected right into the solar panel again to reap the maximum power generation. Improvement is present even when sky is cloudy.

Results claimed:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory results prove the fact that the films increase power output between 4-12.5% even when cloudy weather makes the light diffuse. Just adding the films increase cost of power generation by 1-10% but benefits far outweigh the cost, claims the lab. The question to be proved is the test of durability – which will be best answered by future.

  • Giuseppe Hormigos

    What is the commercial targeted price for the polymer film?

  • Jim Jonas

    I think it is our duty our reason to create jobs cleanup our earth reduce and save money yes it will if our Country owns our own power.Hydrogen Fuel cell Solar what a great idea instead of oil.

  • styke

    I am really surprised that the cost of the film is ten percent of the cost of the panel. I had expected it to be closer to 1% of the cost. At ten percent, it doesn’t sound like much of a bargain, except in certain applications.

    On the other hand, next year the film may be better and cheaper, and then it will be a great benefit.

  • http://www.emeraldenergync.com Solar Water Heating

    Over time this will end up getting cheaper and get a better CBA. Every little bit counts, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  • Peter

    Every solar panel produced at this moment has already a coating to prevent sunlight from reflecting etc etc. Those people are not stupid! They work everyday on improving their product. I do not believe that adding a coating (which absorbs also sunlight) can improve the outcome by 10 percent. This can only be done if producers of panels haven not thought of coatings themselves.

  • styke

    As I look at residential solar, I am struck by the fact that the cost of the grid tie in system is greater than the cost of solar panels.
    As I look at electric cars, I am similarly struck by the fact that controllers cost as much as batteries and motors, combined.
    I am left thinking that the most important aspect of the whole alternative energy scene is to improve the efficiency and cost of power electronics.

  • Simone Sturniolo

    @styke: or better, to pass directly to DC equipment… AC is now in use just because it was more convenient to generate it in big power plants, then transform it between different tensions and distribute it. But if we generate power in our houses, what’s the need for that? Most of our house equipment (virtually everything except for things with motors, like a washing machine) runs or could run on direct current. Panels produce direct current. The only purpose of the whole power grid thing is to transform this into alternate current, because our equipment is designed to work with that. But it could be changed, in the future – with lower costs and better efficiencies.

  • MailmanD

    I recall, about ten years ago, reading about this newly discovered polymer with properties that basically trap the photons and redirect them in only one direction. It basically acts as a tiny funnel, capturing light and intensifying it. I’m thrilled to see that it has finally come to market, as solar panels could use this much needed boost in efficiency. Now panel producers need to incorporate this product.

    Solar thermal is still by far cheaper to install, and because of this has a much quicker payback period. My 60 Evacuated tubes provide over 60% of my homes heat needs, and we live in upstate New York.

    Next on the list, micro wind turbine to produce a secondary supply of heated water for the radiant floor heat system.

  • bowkbernardo

    Looks like it is good to have that power sticker. It is good to have that together with the solar power generator. 😀

  • 1goodcat

    If the sticker,the 10 cent plastic sticker used to cover the solar cell increases the cost 10 percent producing elect.then common math tells you that the solar cell or sticker producer is ripping off people by way overpricing the product

  • 1goodcat

    If the sticker,the 10 cent plastic sticker used to cover the solar cell increases the cost 10 percent producing elect.then common math tells you that the solar cell or sticker producer is ripping off people by way overpricing the product

  • 1goodcat

    And if this sticker keeps the sun from reflecting and causes it to continue its forward path through glass, would it also be good on south exposed windows for solar heat for solar water and heating?

  • 1goodcat

    And if this sticker keeps the sun from reflecting and causes it to continue its forward path through glass, would it also be good on south exposed windows for solar heat for solar water and heating?


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