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Flexible Translucent Solar Panels Brighten Future Of Solar

New technology promises to deliver greater energy conversion on windowpane-like solar panels

Flexible, semi-transparent solar panels


Solar power is the promised land for all renewable energy and sustainability proponents but so far, the technology has not quite been able to keep up with the optimism. Technologies used to create solar power generation are at best base line and can only convert into electricity a paltry 15% of the solar energy that hits the planet’s surface.

Another impediment has been the installation surfaces that solar can be mounted on, which in most cases ends up becoming dead space that cannot be used for anything else. A new revolutionary technology is, however, attempting to change this as a German company called Heliatek  has been able to create translucent solar panels that have an acceptable level of energy conversion.

Replacing windows with transparent solar panels has been something many have seen as the most efficient way of installing solar panels but so far, transparent or translucent solar panels can only manage 4% conversion ratios. The new technology developed by Heliatek  is able to offer translucent panels with an energy conversion ratio of 9%, double what previous attempts had managed.

The company hopes this increased efficiency can finally push translucent solar panels into mainstream manufacturing and are currently courting manufacturers in a bid to attain this. The company will still, however, have to contend with the fact that energy efficiency is a big issue with solar as silicone-based panels are still the default panels in use today. This advance, nevertheless, pushes the boundaries of solar even further and brings it closer to mainstream adoption.

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