These days, more and more people are using solar energy technology in order to save money and help the environment at the same time. Due to its increasing popularity and demand, scientists and researchers from all over the world are doing their best to make it more efficient and cost-effective. Also, thanks to the rise of technology, improvements in the manufacturing process and application of solar cells and panels have also definitely improved. Do you want to know more about these improvements? Well, please keep on reading and find out what they are.
Improvement in the manufacturing process of solar cells
Although you might not be directly involved in the manufacturing process of solar cells, you should still be aware of it since it benefits you in the end. In fact, you should know that one of the reasons why solar PV technologies are cost prohibitive compared to the traditional sources of fuel is because of the manufacturing process. This is why scientists and researchers are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of how solar energy components are manufactured. Here is an improvement that they are currently thoroughly studying.
Magnesium Chloride. Did you know more than 90% of solar energy panels are made up of semi-conductors? They are the key ingredients in converting sunlight into electricity. However, scientists and researchers believe that the future generation of solar energy panels will be composed of a different material. They believe that using a new technology of thin film that uses narrow cadmium telluride coatings in the solar cells will be even better. They believe that this technology will be more efficient in the photovoltaic process and that it would be more cost-effective. However, one big obstacle presented by cadmium telluride is that they can be highly unstable during the process of manufacturing where cadmium chloride is currently used.
Because of this, scientists and researchers have created a newer, safer and cheaper alternative. Instead of using cadmium chloride, they are thinking of using magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is a very abundant resource that can be recovered from seawater. This makes it non-toxic and very cheap. Scientists and researchers are thinking of using this in the manufacturing process and efficiency can be improved from two percent up to about fifteen percent!
New Applications of Solar Energy
When you think of solar energy panels, you might imagine them mounted on company rooftops for industrial use or on top of home roofs. However, researchers are actually exploring different application of solar energy systems that could transform the industry completely. Here are some of the different applications that they thought of.
Floating Solar. Scientists all over the world, including a French company called Ciel et Terre are experimenting with technology that would allow solar panels to be erected on the water. Scientists have thought of this since after all, 70% of the surface of the Earth is covered in water! This projected is already on going in different countries including England, France, California, India and Japan.
Solar Roadways. Scientists are trying to find ways to actually line roads and highways with solar energy panels that could be used to deploy large quantities of electricity towards the grid. If this happens, a major problem to the industrial solar panel will be overcome. This project is already used in some parts of the Netherlands.
These are just some improvements in the manufacturing process and application of solar cells and panels. If this continues, solar energy panels will definitely become more effective!