Here is a list of solar technology advancements for 2022
Due to the advancements in solar technology, scientists and experts are keen to identify new avenues and opportunities for implementing solar technology. We have compiled ten interesting solar technology advancements for 2022. Read more about them below:
Floating Solar Farms
- As a result of the latest research and growing global interest in the use of solar power, solar PV panels have become incredibly cheap and technologically advanced. After building mega solar power farms, experts are now looking at new venues for maximum space efficiency.
According to leading experts, solar panels placed on large water bodies such as reservoirs offer better efficiency and a host of other benefits. Such solar farms are known as Floatovoltaics. These solar farms are cheaper to install as they do not use up land that can be used for other purposes. They have lower overhead and maintenance costs too.
- Due to the cooling effect of water, research suggests a 10% increased output from floating solar farms. These solar farms also aid in water management by reducing water loss by evaporation. This is because sunlight is blocked and air circulation is minimized.
Floating solar farms also help reduce water sanitation and treatment costs. They do this by minimizing toxic algae production. They also prevent debris as they are covering the surface of the water. The first commercial floating solar farm was installed in California in 2008. It had a capacity of 175 kWh.
BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) Solar Technology
- Building Integrated Photovoltaics are solar panels that are integrated into the design and architecture of a building. This integration is in the form of roofs, canopies, facades, skylights, and curtain walls. BIPVs are used to enhance or maintain the aesthetic appearance of a building. This is something that was not possible using traditional solar panels.
One major drawback of using BIPVs is that any damage to them might be costly to repair and replace. In the event of irreparable damage, the entire unit or section will have to be removed. It is advisable to contact a professional solar PV recycling company to help you dispose of the damaged solar panels.
- BIPVs are being preferred over traditional solar because they are substituted for standard building materials. This enables cost reduction in construction, procurement of building materials, and electric power. Thus building owners can be sure about saving money in the long term.
- The PV glass used in BIPVs helps increase energy efficiency by acting as an energy-generating device. When used on a building’s roof, facades, atriums, terrace floors, and canopies, it allows natural light to flow in while generating electricity from the sun.
PVNB – Photovoltaic Solar Noise Barriers
- In the US, highway traffic noise has been a major concern for decades. Over the years experts have implemented various solutions to curb this issue. 48 states have built traffic noise barriers that are almost 3,000 miles long.
The original goal of traffic noise barriers was to implement a cost-effective solution that efficiently eliminated noise while taking up the least space on the highway.
- The US Department of Energy has identified a significant renewable energy potential in traffic noise barriers and is now encouraging the use of PVNB solar noise barriers. This project is gaining momentum due to solar energy’s environmental benefits. Based on rough estimates, there is a generation potential of 400GWh annually. This is enough to provide energy equal to what is consumed annually by 37,000 homes.
Preparing The Back Panel
- After the solar cells are ready for use, plastic sheet components of the solar panel are cut and processed. These sheets are in the shape of huge rolls. They are put through a special cutting machine that splits the rolls into sheets of equal sizes.
These are then stacked on top of each other, readying them for the next step. These stacked and cut sheets are used to form the back panel of the solar panel.
Preparing The Solar Cells
- The next step involves preparing and organizing the solar cells. Some solar panel manufacturing facilities purchase solar cells instead of producing them themselves. In either situation, a robotic arm takes the solar cells from their storage units and places them on a special conveyer belt.
This step requires extreme care and precision as the solar cells are incredibly fragile and can be damaged easily. A solar panel with damaged solar cells cannot be repaired and has to be recycled by a professional solar recycling company.
- The cells are arranged in rows on the conveyer belt. Another robotic arm works to connect the solar cells with wires. The manufacturing facility makes sure that premium-grade wires are used that can conduct maximum electricity with the least resistance. The wires are wound in big drums and fed into the machine directly.
Number of Solar Cells
- The solar cells are soldered in a matrix-like structure, using metal conductors. The number of solar cells in a solar panel depends on the customer’s specifications and requirements. Currently, there are 48 cell, 60 cell, and 72 cell solar panels available in the market.
The number of cells also depends on where the solar panels are going to be deployed. 48 cell solar panels are ideal for small house rooftops, 60 cells are the industry standard size for most applications, and 72 cell solar panels are used for industrial, commercial, and large-scale applications.
Final Stages Of Solar Cell Preparation
- Once the desired number of solar cells are selected and soldered, they are sent to a machine. This machine treats the solar cells with a high-intensity light to fuse the wires. Once all the wires have fused, they are inspected by professionals at the factory before moving them to the next phase of the process.
The solar panels’ other components are ready by this stage such as glass cover, frames, and EVA encapsulants.
Solar Panel Assembly
- When all the components are ready, the solar panel assembly starts. The back panels are placed on the EVA encapsulant sheet, providing the bottom layer of the solar panel. Rows of solar cells are now carefully placed on the back panel sheet using a robotic arm. The frame of the solar panel is designed keeping in mind the number of solar cells it is going to house.
The entire back panel now has rows of solar cells placed by a robotic arm. The professionals at the factory inspect the solar cells and the panels for quality issues. The electrical connections between the solar cells are also checked. Finally, the front layer of the EVA encapsulant sheet is added to the solar panels.
The solar panel is now moved to a unit that installs a tempered glass sheet. The sheet is placed on the sun-facing side of the solar panels and is polished to make sure it does not deflect any sunlight. In addition to a clean glass surface, the panels need an optimum alignment for maximum production of electricity. The panel is now enclosed in an aluminum frame.
- The panel is tested both by machines and humans for structural and quality defects. It passes through some quality and endurance tests to make sure it is ready for use. When the panels are approved for use, the junction box is fitted on the solar panels by engineers at the manufacturing facility.
Sometimes a solar panel or solar equipment can get damaged beyond repair. If you are facing such a situation, then it is imperative that you consider the environmental impact while disposing of such panels or equipment. We, at PV2 Recycle, are a team of solar recycling specialists. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let our experts guide you about solar recycling.