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.

Related Articles


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 December 19, 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 December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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