New Holographic Light Collector Boosts Solar Panel Efficiency

New Holographic Light Collector Boosts Solar Panel Efficiency

The newly developed holographic concentrator increases the efficiency of solar panels and achieves about 5% energy conversion in one year.


Holograms increase solar energy yield

The newly developed holographic concentrator increases the efficiency of solar panels and achieves about 5% energy conversion in one year.

The energy obtained from sunlight is 10,000 times the energy required to supply the world’s energy demand. Sunlight has two main properties that help in the design of renewable energy systems.

The first is the amount of power applied to a fixed area such as the ground or a person’s roof. This amount depends on the time of day and the season. The second property is the color or spectrum of sunlight.

One way to capture solar energy is to use solar cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity. In solar modules that people put on the roof, many cells are assembled into rigid panels, connected to each other, sealed, and covered with protective glass.

Solar cells work best when exposed to a particular color of sunlight and when the entire area is covered with photocells. However, some panel areas are required to connect the cells, and depending on the shape of the solar cell, not all of the remaining panel areas may be able to collect sunlight. These effects reduce the efficiency of solar panels. To use solar energy efficiently, it is important for solar panels to capture as much sunlight as possible.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have recently developed an innovative technology that captures unused solar energy to illuminate solar panels.As reported in Journal of Photonics for Energy (JPE), they created a special hologram that can be easily inserted into a solar panel package.

Each hologram separates the colors of the sun and directs it to the solar cells inside the solar panel. This method can increase the amount of solar energy converted by solar panels in a year by about 5%. This reduces both the cost and number of solar panels needed to power a home, city, or country.

This research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the QESST Engineering Research Center sponsored by the US Department of Energy, addresses the challenge of transforming power generation to sustainably meet growing energy demand.

Low cost and sustainable design

The holographic concentrator designed by PhD student Jianbo Zhao in collaboration with PhD student Benjamin Chrysler under the supervision of Raymond K. Kostuk, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and optical science, is low. Cost holographic optics and diffusers. The optics are symmetrically placed in the center of the solar module for maximum effective focusing.

The optics of the holographic concentrator are symmetrically placed in the center of the PV module for maximum effective condensing.

The team calculates an annual energy yield improvement in Tucson, Arizona, and evaluates the power collection efficiency of holographic concentrators as a function of the angle of the sun at different time zones, different seasons, and different geographical conditions. Presented a reproducible way for. place.

According to Sean Shaheen, JPE Editor-in-Chief at the University of Colorado at Boulder, collector-related methods are particularly noteworthy because they are low-cost, scalable, and influential.

What this technology makes possible can have a significant impact if it extends to just a small portion of the hundreds of gigawatts of solar power installed around the world.

Professor Kostuk’s team demonstrated a holographic approach using low-cost gelatin-based materials that are easy to produce in large quantities. Gelatin is usually derived from animal collagen, but advances in laboratory-derived versions increase the potential for large-scale use of synthetic alternatives.

Zhao and his co-authors are encouraged by the results of their work and look forward to future work to further optimize the energy yield of holographic concentrators through experimental evaluation of the material.



Source : TT Pak