As the effects of global warming can be felt all across the globe, the demand and need for renewable and clean sources of energy keep getting louder by the day. Solar power is one of the safest sources of energy and is available in abundance and if we can harness it, we’ll take a big stride in fulfilling the energy requirements of our planet.
There has always been a debate about the efficiency of solar power and how much power we can get out of the sunshine. Solar power seems to be stuck with the same old solar panels which many believe are not that energy efficient. Usually, solar cells or panels are not efficient enough and they have a conversion capacity of 15-19 percent which means that 85 percent of energy is lost in the process. There are other cells in the market which are energy efficient, but their cost is the biggest stumbling block in their wider acceptance.
To take solar power to the next level, Insolight has come up with a technology which changes our perception regarding solar power, according to a report by TechCrunch.
Insolight is a spinoff of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and they’ve been working on a new approach for quite some time. As per the report, sunlight is available in abundance in space and solar panels aboard the satellites are the best options to harness this solar power, but they don’t come cheap and can’t be used for general purpose.
To solve this problem, Insolight has come up with a honeycomb-like lens array which uses cells used in satellites and takes that light and bends it into a narrow beam concentrated only on the tiny cells. As the sun moves, the cell layer also moves with it, making it sure that the beams are concentrated on the target and this innovation seems to have already achieved some really good results. They’ve achieved a high of 37 percent efficiency under test conditions, and 30 percent in consumer-oriented designs which is really good as per the current standards.
A recently conducted pilot test was done on an EPFL roof and the implementation of the technology was a success.
Speaking about the EPFL pilot test, Mathiu Ackermann, the company’s CTO said, “Our panels were hooked up to the grid and monitored continually. They kept working without a hitch through heat waves, storms and winter weather. This hybrid approach is particularly effective when it’s cloudy and the sunlight is less concentrated since it can keep generating power even under diffuse light rays.”
The Insolight panels are expected to hit the market by 2022 and everyone seems to be waiting for this innovation which might change the face of solar power.