Closing on the 33% efficiency goal.

Is Solar Power going to give the UK the energy it needs for the 21st century?

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biffvernon
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Closing on the 33% efficiency goal.

Post by biffvernon »

Looks like there's potential for the price of solar pv to keep dropping.

http://www.businessinsider.com/scientis ... 016-3?IR=T
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Research from Cambridge. What's the betting that they can't get investment to commercialise it in this country and the profits from the invention go abroad!! Again!!!
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Post by cubes »

Yup, no chance it'll be developed here. How many technologies/ideas does that make now?
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biffvernon
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Very impressive, but it is not clear if it will ever be cheaper than existing technologies per KWh - it is four separate semiconductor technologies (3 silicon based and one germanium) behind a prism which splits the light into different wavelengths, so that each wavelength falls onto a cell optimised to absorb it.

It will need to be made cheap enough that the extra cost of production is offset by the smaller mounting costs of the smaller area of panels needed.

Further work needed, and so more research essential.
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Post by adam2 »

Agree, this technology shows promise for those relatively rare situations where the most KW from a restricted area is needed.

More typically, plenty of space is available and the requirement is the most KW from say £1,000.
Most UK PV installations are limited by either the available money, or by the limited energy that may be backfed into the grid.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

Yes and price per kW is falling and falling faster than most folk guessed a decade ago. Efficiency has been creeping up at the same time and while W/£is more important than W/area, the extra efficiency will help.

When I bought my ~4kW system it was the maximum output I could fit on the roof but well before the panels degrade enough to have to be scrapped, maybe in two or three decades, replacements will be available at double or more the output. There may come a time when a decision to abandon sunk costs are scrap and replace becomes the sensible option.
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Post by clv101 »

I tend not to get excited about area efficiency. We are many orders of magnitude away from running in to solar space constraints. Whilst some folk might gripe about their roof being full... there are many many empty roofs, let alone golf courses.
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Post by biffvernon »

Indeed, but that's no reason to not have efficient stuff, other things being equal. Once the R&D is done there may be no downside to a more efficient device.
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Another new solar panel design, this one claiming 27% up from 22% for the best commercial panels today.

Said to be ready for market next year, at least this is a simple extra surface coating on existing panels, so should not be significantly more expensive to make.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... ls-by-2021

If they get this to work and patent it, they will be very rich very quickly
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

They've got Chinese backers. I wonder how soon this technology will be on all Chinese products as well? They don't seem to worried, as a nation, about the concept of intellectual property, unless, of course, it is theirs!
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