In case you haven’t heard we’re inching toward a record heatwave summer. With that comes warnings of blackouts and calls to conserve energy. In essence, the fodder of the solar power industry, the need for an energy source that supplements the current infrastructure; demand response energy, but what about efficiency during those high heat high demand days?
Unbeknownst to most people is that solar panel output is reduced at high temperatures, and over extended periods can lead to premature degradation. While the current increases the overall performance of the system decreases.
The standard Temperatue-rise coefficient for Solar Farms, where the rear of the panels are open and exposed to wind, is a 20 degree rise, while panel mounted on a roof are said to see at least a 45 degree rise in cell temperature. The temperature translation for a 45 degree rise is a 10% reduction in voltage produced.
Read this article on Solar Panel efficiency utilizing heat.
Also: Photovoltaic Efficiency: The Temperature Effect PDF
Also: Enhancing the performance of photovoltaic panels by water cooling PDF
What happens when utilities meet their state mandates for renewable energy production or offsets?
In the coming years we could run into a schedule, and desirable – from the utilities point of view, loll in Solar. States are canceling, re-assessing, or no longer interested in initiating rebates for renewable energy because utilities have moved to capitalize on the financial benefits provided to them. It has also quieted the calls to speed up adoption of Solar Energy. It is eating its nemesis, alive.
So, what will keep solar alive, absent rebates and offsets? It will be advances is panel efficiency, battery design, and inverter technology.
[Stay tuned as I revise this post. Thanks. ]
China has bet on solar energy as a cleaner alternative to coal, but whether installed solar panels can meet the country’s need for energy is becoming a troubling question.
China had installed nearly 19.5 gigawatts of solar panels as of the end of 2013. However, “many solar installations failed to generate as much electricity as planned,” said Ji Zhenshuang, deputy director at the Beijing-based China General Certification Center, which examined 472 Chinese solar projects over the past four years.
Sven Armbrecht from LG Solar describes how N-type silicon wafer technology can increase the power efficiency of solar cells and make grid parity a viable prospect – See more
“Solar Frontier’s new 20.9% efficiency record resulted from a CIS cell cut from a 30cm by 30cm substrate produced using a sputtering-selenization formation method – the same method we use in our factories. The significance is twofold: it ensures we can transfer our latest achievement into mass production faster, and it proves the long-term conversion efficiency potential of Solar Frontier’s proprietary CIS technology,” said Satoru Kuriyagawa, Chief Technology Officer of Solar Frontier. “Solar Frontier has entered into the next phase in the development of CIS technology, and we look forward to building on this achievement and driving our efficiency even higher.”
Nanoplasmonic black metals enable breakthrough in solar energy research.
The current level of technological innovation going into photovoltaics should be ready for the next wave, which is when the industry will be beyond it growth spurts and becoming a mainstream consumer energy staple. What are manufacturers and scientist aiming for? Photovoltaic efficiency, getting more juice out of panel. Even though consumers and business are making more energy conscious purchases, it doesn’t mean they’ll reduce the number of appliances requiring electricity. Consider the car, it began with an engine and an alternator to run the minor electrical circuits needed to drive the vehicle. As cars evolved, more electricity was needed to run all of the advance safety features and to help the cars motor process fuel more efficiently. Aside from the fact that the input, light for the sun, is free, we still need to raise the efficiently of solar panels, which currently average at about 12 – 15% in the lab, on day one.