Read in this article
- New techniques to overcome the intermittent nature of solar energy.
- Lower prices for solar panels support their role in generating electricity.
- Innovating a new technology that enhances the generation of electricity from solar energy at night.
- New technology to power solar panels during rain.
- An important role for robots in cleaning solar panels.
There is no denying the important role that solar electricity generation plays for poor countries, ahead of developed countries, at the same time, no one is certain that sunlight can be relied upon as a reliable source of supply, given its intermittent nature, such as wind power.
In the face of this, scientists have developed solar panels that can operate at night and by rain as well, and these innovations can convert solar energy into a source of electricity that works throughout the day; Helping the world achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
With the price of solar panels dropping by 80% over the past decade, and having become economically viable for poor countries that still suffer from electricity shortages, especially in Africa, 3 innovations can help make electricity generation from solar energy a reliable source on a large scale, according to A recent report issued by the World Economic Forum, and reviewed by the Energy Research Unit.
Generating electricity from solar energy at night
In a promising innovation for reliable 24-hour renewable energy, scientists tested panels that continue to produce electricity even when the sun goes down.
As everyone knows that traditional solar panels only work in daylight; So expensive storage batteries are needed to enable the electricity produced from solar energy to be used at night.
In this regard, a team at Stanford University in the US tested solar panels that maintain electricity generation from solar energy around the clock.
This innovation is based on the fact that solar panels cool at night, and electricity can be generated from the temperature difference between these cold panels and the still-warm ambient air, and this is done using a thermoelectric generator that produces electricity as heat passes through it.
Stanford University researchers say that such panels can be manufactured using readily available components, with the possibility of modernizing existing panels, to be able to provide a reliable source of electricity for the approximately 750 million people around the world who lack electricity at night, according to the report.
Running solar panels during rain
The amount of electricity generated by conventional solar panels varies with the intensity of sunlight, not just sunsets, and clouds and rain can make electricity generation less efficient.
In the face of this, scientists from Soochow University in China believe that the friction resulting from the fall of heavy raindrops on the panels, can be exploited to enhance the generation of electricity from solar energy.
This comes through the use of an electric generator on top of a conventional solar panel, which converts motion, in this case the effect of raindrops, into electricity.
In addition to increasing electricity generation from solar energy on rainy days, friction panels can continue to generate during the night, if it rains, according to the report seen by the Energy Research Unit.
Solar panel cleaning robots
Dust can block the light from the solar panels; Research suggests that objects accumulating on the roof can reduce solar panel output by up to 85%, according to the report.
It is time-consuming and expensive to clean up a large solar power facility; Hand washing with a brush and water costs about $2 million over 10 years, one utility-scale solar plant study estimates.
and if you do not do so regularly; This dirt eventually sticks to the solar panels; Which reduces the generation of electricity from solar energy, and to confront this problem; It can use autonomous dry cleaning robots.
These robots work at night to reduce disruption to the panels while generating electricity during the day, and by using microfiber fabrics and jets of air, their use for one year saved enough water to meet the needs of 220,800 people.
Currently, cleaning robots are used in millions of solar panels in 30 large projects, from Chile to India, according to the World Economic Forum.
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