How Solar Panels Can Cool Themselves with Condensed Water
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How Solar Panels Can Cool Themselves with Condensed Water

By Energy CIO Insights | Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A materials scientist asserts that the method is useful to retrofit solar cell panes for an instantaneous, efficient boost. Due to this study, solar power volume is anticipated to increase fivefold over the subsequent decade.

FREMONT, CA: One of the problems associated with solar panels is that they do not operate well when overheated. It is said that revolutionary research can solve the scenario rapidly. Researchers have uncovered a method to make solar panels sweat, enabling them to cool and increasing their power output. A materials scientist asserts that the method is useful to retrofit solar cell panes for an instantaneous, efficient boost. Due to this study, solar power volume is anticipated to increase fivefold over the subsequent decade.

At present, it is over 600 gigawatts of solar power capacity, offering 3% of global electricity demand. The favored medium of converting sunlight to energy is still silicon. Nevertheless, the typical silicon cells can convert about 20% of the sun’s energy that hits them into the current. The rest characteristically turns into heat so that the sheets can warm as much as 40°C (104°F). The panel’s competence drops with each degree of temperature above 25°C (77°F). It is quantified that even a 1% gain in power conversion efficiency will be an economic benefit.Top Solar Energy Technology Companies

Recently, researchers have developed materials that can draw water vapor from the air and condense it into liquid water for consumption. Among them is a gel that powerfully absorbs water vapor at night and releases it in the day as heat increases. When further shielded by plastic, the released vapor is then reduced back into liquid water and filled into a container.

The researchers decided to utilize this accumulated water as a coolant for the solar panes. To achieve this feature, the team pressed a sheet of the gel against a typical silicon solar panel base. They expected that the gel would employ the heat from the solar panel to dissolve water it had collected the previous night during the day.

The team also thought of another usage for the condensed water; coolant for solar sheets. The dissolving water would cool the solar board quite similar to sweat evaporating from the skin and cooling people down. The scientists found that the quantity of gel they desired depended primarily on the environment’s humidity.

Another design option recommended was an arrangement that could trap and recondense water after it faded from the gel. The solution could resolve a second power-sapping issue at the same time. Alternatively, the same water may well be stored for drinking, addressing another desperate necessity in parched areas.

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