Solar Energy Research and Development

Photovoltaic (PV) research and development aim to reduce overall solar energy costs. Funding solar energy research by the government has led to new industries and job creation. The continued growth in this sector significantly impacts the environment by reducing the effects of climate change.

Research can help development in the solar industry and leads to better efficient energy. Over the last few decades, clean energy has become cheaper due to research. In this article, we will look at solar energy research and development in detail. Let’s begin.

Solar Panels

When governments and firms fund energy research, they help mitigate the climate change problem, improve national security challenges, and maintain the environment. Solar-related technology is improving as a result.

There are numerous solar energy research and development projects across the globe. Much of it is centered around silicon technology improvement and concentrated PV. Bright ideas surround solar that, if implemented, can bring the costs down while improving solar modules’ efficiency. Solar energy research centers around the following areas:

Solar Panels

Researchers are continually improving and developing solar panel technology. We have come a long way since the making of the first solar panels. In the past few years, there have been significant milestones such as efficiency, energy storage, the invention of wearable solar technologies, and many more.  

The good news about this is the continually reducing price of solar modules and other technologies. There are two leading solar technologies: photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). Solar PV involves capturing the sun’s light and converting it into electricity. Concentrated solar power entails harvesting the sun’s heat and using it to power heaters and turbines. Both of these technologies have grown through research and development.

Improved efficiency

Solar cell efficiency has significantly improved over the years. In the past ten years, the most efficient solar panels could convert 12% of the sunlight that hit them into electricity. Currently, solar panels’ efficiency ranges between 17-19%.

Through solar modules research, it is possible to achieve 30% PV efficiency. With such efficiency, solar energy consumption would increase from the current 2.4% global supply. Mainstream markets make silicon cells based panels. However, due to Perovskite solar cells, this could also change.

Swiss and American researchers fostered this technology. They have made tandem cells with efficiency above 20% and low production cost. New solar technology from MIT researchers is likely to double the amount of electricity generated by the cells.

Solar Inverters

PV research and development not only focuses on solar panels but also on solar inverters. They help in improving the quality of the electric power harnessed. A solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter should reduce harmonic distortion on the system, thus improving the power quality.

In most PV systems, you can attribute most failures to the inverter. Such breakdowns can affect the reliability of the solar energy system. Research into its model and subsystems can directly contribute to improved solar energy reliance.

Solar Storage

According to a joint study between the European Patent Office and the IEA, electricity storage innovations have grown 14% a year over the past decade. These affordable electricity storage systems have been essential catalysts in the growth of the clean energy sector. As a result, cleaner energy has penetrated various parts of the world.

Batteries contribute a large portion of the 14% annual electricity storage growth. Chief among them is rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries. They are mostly used in electronic devices and electric cars. Electric mobility is one of the factors spurring this growth.

You can store solar energy in electric vehicles and solar batteries such as lead-acid batteries for off-grid storage. You can also use them to augment storage if you are connected to the grid. As research continues into solar storage technology, there is hope that the costs will reduce drastically. Also, continuous innovation in solar storage can help stabilize energy backup options.

Solar Breakthroughs

There are technological advancements that you can attribute to continuous research and development in this sector. Such include:

Solar Tracking Mounts

You may have heard experts say that roofs are unideal for solar panel installation. However, as solar energy grows, most people want to benefit from this technology. For this reason, solar tracking mount technology makes it possible for such users to enjoy solar power.

A tracker allows the solar panels to follow sunlight, thus maximizing production. They work by tilting and shifting the solar panel angle as the sun goes, thus matching the best location for getting maximum sunlight. Though the technology has been in the market for a while now, most people are starting to embrace it.

Solar Skin Design

Most people may have avoided solar panel installation because of changing their roof’s appearance. However, an MIT startup has created solar skins to help address the solar panel’s appearance. There is a good buzz surrounding this product as it helps with customizing the solar panels.

With this technology, homeowners can create a better looking solar array. The solar skins allow solar panels to look the way you want. The Sistine solar company is yet to release information on how this technology works. However, the basic idea revolves around offering improved light filtration, thus enabling light to pass through the skin.

Solar Research for 2030 Goals

Apart from ongoing research enabling wearable solar gadgets or solar-powered roads, it is also responsible for facilitating 2030 goals. One of the notable MDG goals for 2030 is affordable clean energy.

Currently, the price of solar has dramatically reduced, making it more affordable. The LCOE or Levelized cost of energy of PVs has been declining. The goal for continuous research in this area is to achieve an LCOE of $0.02kWh. Such a price reduction will resolve solar distribution and storage issues.

As solar energy research continues, there is hope for improved storage, better grid connection, and more efficient solar panels. If solar panels have an efficiency of about 30%, it will reduce the number of modules installed. Users will greatly benefit from such innovation.

Action Point

Do you want to be part of the growth in solar technology? Solar energy installation will help you conserve the environment for future generations. You can get in touch with us and have quality solar panels from professional solar installers in Texas.