With the help of lenses, scientists almost doubled the efficiency of solar panels for roofs


The team of Swiss scientists has developed solar panels, standardized for mass production, which convert 29% of light into electricity. Improving efficiency provided built-in lenses, which focus radiation on tiny highly efficient photoelectric elements.

Researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) were looking for ways to increase the performance of solar panels for roofs and decided to use the same types of cells in them, which are usually used in satellites. However, although they are effective, but also very expensive. Therefore, to reduce the cost, a special protective glass was developed with optical lenses, which concentrate the sun’s light approximately 100 times and sent it to tiny high-performance elements. As a result, photocells occupy less than 0.5% of the surface of the solar battery. Additionally, a mechanism was developed, with the help of which the cells can be moved horizontally to several millimeters in both directions to take into account the change in the position of the Sun during the day.

The efficiency of technology in the laboratory has reached 36%, but since then three inventors have organized an InSolight startup and standardized panels for mass production with a yield of 29%. Despite the fact that this indicator is significantly lower than the initial result, but it is still almost twice as high as existing competitors with 17-19% of the transformation. Potentially, the device can even be installed on top of other solar panels to increase efficiency.

The researchers have already tested the panels in real conditions on the roofs of the EPFL buildings, where they stably worked with any weather changes. Insolight declares that in the sunny regions their decision will allow households to reduce electricity costs up to 30%. At the moment, scientists are negotiating with several solar battery manufacturers on licensing their technology. The first commercial startup panels must enter the market in 2022.

Previously, we also reported that in 2019 Hyundai and Kia will begin to release