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Studded Solar Panels Are More Efficient

The majority of solar cells that are utilised in solar panels both for domestic and commercial properties are manufactured by using material in quite thick layers with a view to absorbing the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, these are often expensive to manufacture and when less expensive ones are used which are thinner they are not as effective.

Well, following research that has been undertaken by scientists at Imperial College London with the support of IMEC and Soochow University in China and also the University of Tokyo, they have found that if very small aluminium studs, that are barely visible to humans, are placed on the surface of solar panels it could increase the efficiency of the panels by as much as 22%. This is because they are able to trap the light within the layer that absorbs the light.

Studded solar panels that “look like” Lego are more efficient than ordinary solar panels

The best way to describe what these aluminium studded solar panels look like is to imagine if you were to peruse them under a microscope they would look like many pieces of Lego that you have no doubt played with when you were a youngster.

Apparently, these aluminium studs cause the rays from the sun to alter direction and, as the sunlight travels further and gets trapped in the solar panels, an increased amount of energy is produced.

This recent discovery seems to have huge potential within the solar panel industry as it would mean that a reduced amount of the material that absorbs the sunlight would be required. When you consider that this material can account for anything up to 50% of what a solar panel costs and with the added benefit of anti-reflection coatings, a substantial reduction in manufacturing costs could be made which could be passed on to the consumer.

It will be interesting to find out how long it would be before this aluminium studded solar panel system is available to be mass produced.

Your comments, as always, are welcomed.

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