Solar panel based on kirigami promises higher efficiency, economy

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A team of scientists from University of Michigan recently announced creation of a more efficient variant of solar panels.

Reports suggest the technology is inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art form that involves folding and cutting paper. The lattice structure of the solar panel allows it to track solar radiation throughout the day.

In a standard design stationary solar panel, only a fraction of sunlight, that is rays which fall directly and at a particular angle, translates into power effectively. However, twisted solar panels are able to harvest sunlight effectively as its geometry follows the movement of the sun from east to west, without physically turning.

The research team tested the new panels at a farm in Arizona and found that they generate 36 percent more photovoltaic energy than a traditional panel.

Besides energy efficiency the panels are also likely to be cost efficient as they are lighter and more economical than tracked solar panels.

According to the researchers, the focus of the solar industry was on further decreasing cost of solar electricity and improve efficiency of harvesting solar power. It will facilitate the transition towards other types of geometries that offer better performance at lower costs.

The main benefit of solar energy is that it does not produce any pollutant and is one of the cleanest energy sources. It supplies renewable energy, requires low maintenance and is easy to install.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

 

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