SolOptics Design Yields Up to 12.5% Increase in PV Panel Efficiency
If the nation is ever to make a real move towards solar power, there need to be significant increases in solar panel efficiency and related cost savings. Unfortunately, those cost savings increments are usually very small so the relatively generous savings promised by the new SolOptics lens design for solar panels is causing considerable interest in the solar panel industry.
Genie Lens Technology’s SolOptics division is using the Fusion lens design along with innovative ray-tracing software to achieve an increase of 10 to 12.5% in solar panel efficiency. The heart of the new design is the software that can create microstructures that can be integrated into a thin polymer film that is then affixed to a solar panel. The structures help to capture and absorb more light, even when the solar panel is not at the optimum angle. These two improvements help achieve the relatively high improvement in solar panel efficiency. The cost for this increased efficiency is a very acceptable ten cents per watt.
Future software developments could result in a customized microstructure design based on specific geographic locations and solar conditions. Increased efficiency would then be possible regardless if the installation was in less-than-sunny Seattle, Washington or Phoenix, Arizona.