Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare

Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
University of Loughborough
Summary:
The glare from solar farms could be a thing of the past, thanks to new research. Researchers have developed a multi-layer anti-reflection coating for glass surfaces, which reduces the sun's reflection from photovoltaic panels while at the same time improving their efficiency. It is applied using the same technology as that used for depositing anti-reflection coatings on eye glasses.

A comparison of the reflection from a cover glass on a crystalline Silicon cell with and without the multilayer AR coating.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Loughborough

The glare from solar farms could be a thing of the past, thanks to scientists at Loughborough University. Researchers have developed a multi-layer anti-reflection (AR) coating for glass surfaces, which reduces the sun's reflection from photovoltaic panels while at the same time improving their efficiency.

The coating was developed by researchers at the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST) who believe it will be attractive to solar panel manufacturers.

It is applied using the same technology as that used for depositing anti-reflection coatings on eye glasses.

Professor Michael Walls, one of three CREST members who came up with the multi-layer AR design, said: "We really want to see these AR coatings implemented by manufacturers.

"They improve the module power output by about four per cent and will be low cost if manufactured in high volume.

"It's a great added value proposition for float glass manufacturers."

Each glass surface reflects about four per cent of the incident light, representing a significant loss of light into the module.

The AR design, developed by Professor Walls, Dr Piotr Kaminski and Fabiana Lisco, reduces the reflection by more than 70 per cent across the wavelength range accepted by PV panels.

The effectiveness of the coating is demonstrated in Picture 1 where a glass cover sheet has been placed above a crystalline silicon PV cell.

The area covered by the AR coated glass is clearly visible whereas the part of the cell covered with non-coated glass is obscured by reflections.

The design consists of only four alternate layers of zirconium oxide and silicon dioxide and the whole stack is less than 300 nanometres thick.

These materials were chosen because they are abundant and low cost.

Dr Kaminski said: "The AR coating has to be cost effective and so the design is a compromise. We want the best quality AR coating but with inexpensive materials and as few layers as possible. Also, the whole stack should be very thin to save time in manufacturing."

The coatings are deposited using magnetron sputtering by a machine developed by UK based Power Vision Ltd to deposit AR coatings on spectacle lenses.

Although the work is specifically aimed at the improvement in efficiency of thin film Cadmium Telluride solar cell devices, the coatings can be applied to other thin film technologies such as CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) and amorphous silicon.

They can also be applied to cover glass on crystalline silicon modules and even third generation devices such as organic or perovskite devices.

Dr Kaminski said: "Each PV technology operates in a different wavelength range and it is relatively simple to accommodate this in the multilayer design for each case."

Magnetron sputtering is an easily scaleable technology already used by glass manufacturers for other types of coatings.

The materials are scratch resistant and very durable and would be effective for the full 25 year warranty offered by PV module manufacturers.

The work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Supergen SuperSolar Hub.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Loughborough. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Loughborough. "Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415084419.htm>.
University of Loughborough. (2014, April 15). Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415084419.htm
University of Loughborough. "Scientists come up with method of reducing solar panel glare." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415084419.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins