The past few years in the solar industry have been a race to the top in terms of solar cell efficiency. Today's technology allows us to harness this resource in several ways, giving the public and commercial entities flexible ways to employ both the light and heat of the sun.
Here are some of the latest emerging solar panel technologies
1.Graphene-coated solar panel generates Electricity from Rain Drops:
Scientists in China are developing a new kind of solar panel that could be used to generate power from rain drops.
By using a thin layer of highly conductive graphene, the solar cell could effectively harness power from rain. The salt contained in rain separates into ions (ammonium, calcium and sodium), making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy.
The water actually clings to the graphene, forming a dual layer i-e pseudocapacitor, with the graphene electrons. The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.
According to the scientists , this new technology could guide the design of advanced all-weather solar cells.i-e The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days
All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis.
2.World’s Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel with more than 22% Module Efficiency:
The Sun provides endless energy, but the average solar cell panel can convert only 14 to 20% of the energy it collects into usable electricity.
Now, American energy company SolarCity has built the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent. The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere
SolarCity’s panel was measured with 22.04 percent module-level efficiency by Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products. SolarCity’s new panel is created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies, and it will be the same size as standard efficiency solar panels, but produces 30-40 percent more power.
3.Turning Salt water into Drinking water using Solar power:
According to the Securing Water for Food agency, between 2000 and 2050 water demand is expected to increase 55 percent globally, meaning the number of people affected by water scarcity will continue to grow. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population could be living in severe water stress conditions.
The MIT team's this new desalination technology "electrodialysis" is comparatively less expensive.
Both electrodialysis and reverse osmosis require the use of membranes, but the membranes in an electrodialysis system are exposed to lower pressures and can be cleared of salt buildup simply by reversing the electrical polarity.
That means the expensive membranes should last much longer and require less maintenance. In addition, electrodialysis systems recover a much higher percentage of the water — more than 90 percent, compared with about 40 to 60 percent from reverse-osmosis systems, a big advantage in areas where water is scarce.
4.Solar Cell captures CO2 and Sunlight, produces Fuel:
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.
Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such "artificial leaves" could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.
The technology should be adaptable not only to large-scale use, like solar farms, but also to small-scale applications. In the future, it may prove useful on Mars, whose atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, if the planet is also found to have water.
5.Balloon-based Solar Farms above the Clouds for Uninterrupted Power:
A French-Japanese laboratory NextPV has proposed an option to mount solar panels on balloons to be placed above the clouds.
Reducing structural and installation costs, ensuring high conversion efficiency and providing nearly round-the-clock access to an abundant power supply would help prove that clean energy can cost less to produce than coal-fired electricity.
Though this idea looks great, many people criticize this idea in their social media discussions, by listing various reasons including the safety and the potential risk of these solar farm balloons hiding the sunlight to be reached the earth surface.
6.A 'mini ice age' is coming in 15 years? Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030:
new model that predicts the solar cycles more accurately than ever before has suggested that solar activity will drop by 60 percent between 2030 and 2040, which means in just 15 years’ time, Earth could sink into what researchers are calling a mini ice age.
7.A solar sailing spacecraft from The Planetary Society:
The LightSail is blasting off to space along with the X37B drone for a test flight on May 20th, but the project still needs a lot more money for its first major mission in 2016. So, the Planetary Society has started a Kickstarter campaign for getting money from crowdsourcing.
LightSail was originally conceptualized by Carl Sagan as a "solar sailer," a spacecraft that uses the sun's radiation for propulsion. The Planetary Society, is attempting to make its own version -- the current model is a CubeSat no bigger than a breadbox with four sails. If the team manages to raise enough money, LightSail will be sent to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in 2016.
Solar sails use the sun’s energy as a method of propulsion—flight by light. Light is made of packets of energy called photons. While photons have no mass, a photon traveling as a packet of light has energy and momentum.
8.Converting Carbon dioxide (CO2) into Formic acid using solar power:
By addressing two of these 3 things, researchers at Princeton University and researchers at a New Jersey start-up company "Liquid Light", came up with an efficient method for harnessing sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into a potential alternative fuel known as formic acid.
The transformation from carbon dioxide and water to formic acid was powered by a commercial solar panel that can be found at electric poles across New Jersey.
The process takes place inside an electrochemical cell, which consists of metal plates the size of rectangular lunch-boxes.
Read about remaining 5 applications of solar technology at http://qualitypointt...php?f=30&t=9611
Edited by karthikaqpt, 17 May 2017 - 02:17 AM.