JULY, 22

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The latest advances in solar panels

Paneles solares

In recent years, the solar energy industry has seen countless advances that have exponentially lowered the cost of solar power generation. Today, technology is focused on producing even more powerful solar panels.

So far this century, there have been great advances in renewable energy generation, especially in solar energy production. Today, with the cost of equipment reaching its limit and the cost of raw materials rising, experts are focusing their efforts on generating solar panels capable of producing more energy with the same size.

This shows just how important technology and cost reduction is in moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels. This is because, while most solar farms are currently cheaper than any coal or gas plant, they require additional efforts to match the high costs of energy storage.

Since 2010, the price of solar panels has been reduced by 90% thanks to scale-up projects and new technologies. Therefore, increasing the performance of these panels is a key part of bringing down costs considering that the price of land, raw materials and even labor have not been reduced in the same way. Let’s take a look at how solar panels are being improved:

Perovskita

This material is proving to be a great ally in the fight for efficiency. Thinner and more transparent than the traditionally used polysilicon, this mineral could be used as a coating on solar panels that are already working and improve their performance or be used in transparent windows that would be able to produce solar energy.

These are solar panels capable of collecting the solar reflection that hits the back of the surface. They became popular in 2019 as they are a significant percentage more efficient than ordinary panels, with little increase in their production and installation cost. At the end of last year, China relaxed the regulation of production of crystals used to produce these panels, which could open the door to new developments in this type of panels that we have already written about in previous posts.

Inverted polysilicone

Another advance that could give a boost to the efficiency of solar panels is the use of negatively charged, or n-type, polysilicon panels, as opposed to traditional panels. The trick is to charge the panels with some element that provides an extra amount of electrons, such as phosphorus. In this way, the panels, although more expensive, can be up to 3.5% more powerful. This technology is expected to be prevalent by 2024.

Larger cells

So far, solar panels are produced from an ultra-refined polysilicon material that is laminated into very thin cells that in turn form the panels. The standard size of these cells is 156 millimeters, but making these cells larger could increase their performance while lowering their production costs.

With these advances, the use of renewable sources for energy generation is becoming increasingly cost-effective and efficient and, in fact, will end up being the only option for maintaining our lifestyle and safeguarding our planet. Proof of this is the worldwide initiatives to promote the use of renewable energies as a means of reducing global carbon emissions and thus reversing climate change.

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