Scientists at the Singaporean Solar energy Research Institute have been working with double-sided solar panels. According to a research paper published by researchers, when the solar panels are combines with sun-tracking technology, they could help to boost the amount of electricity generated by each solar panel.
Boosting Solar Energy Production by a Third
While double-sided solar panels exist and solar tracking technology exists, scientists discovered that combining the two technologies could boost production by around 35 percent. As a result, it could help to cut down the cost of electricity by 16 per home.
Any solar system’s goal is to absorb as much energy from the sun as possible. Today, most solar panels are fixed to the roof. Besides that, they are only able to absorb sunlight from one side. The benefit of using a double-sided panel is that it can absorb sunlight reflected from the sun onto the other side.
There are currently two types of solar trackers. These are single and double axis trackers. The single-axis trackers track the sun from dawn to dusk. Meanwhile, the double-axis trackers track the sun from dawn to dusk while also tilting according to the changing elevation of the sun over the season. In the summer, they go higher, and in the winter the tilt lower.
The Research Details
The scientists analyzed the global energy that various combinations of solar system setups would generate over a year. They used weather data generated by NASA about clouds and the Earth Radiant Energy System instrument. The scientists then calculated the amount of energy each setup would generate.
Their research found that the double-sided panels generated 35 percent more electrical energy when combined with a single axis sun tracker. When combined with a double-axis tracker, they generated 40 percent more energy.
The group also calculated the cost of various setups, maintenance, and construction. According to their data, the setup that was the most cost-effective globally was the single-axis tracker combined with double-sided panels. They concluded that the setup would cut electricity costs by 16 percent for most people around the world.
The group also factored in the costs involved in the materials, construction, and maintenance of these solar panels, which differs between countries.
For years, scientists have been working on improving the output of solar systems. Today, the most efficient solar panels have an efficiency of 20 percent. The most efficient solar panels usually cost a lot of money too. However, they are needed for people who live in areas with low solar intensity year-round.
However, the recently published research has shown that people could boost the production of their solar system by simply combining existing technologies. Instead of purchasing more solar panels for each solar system, a person could simply combine solar tracking technology with double-sided panels.
Their findings could help to boost the production of existing and future solar systems. Combined with ongoing research into more efficient solar panels, it could help to make solar technology more appealing to consumers.