Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Eye Opening Solar Cell Efficiency Numbers
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 > Eye Opening Solar Cell Efficiency Numbers

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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 06/20/20 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/LEW-TOPS-50


This link is an introduction to what's in store

The PDF links to a white paper

Lwiddis

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area

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Posted: 06/20/20 09:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very encouraging.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


jdc1

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Posted: 06/21/20 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wonder how long it will be before they start mass producing them for the consumer market? I thought my Panasonic panels were the top of the line just a year ago. This blows them away, at 40-50% efficiency.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 06/21/20 04:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is about double what current solar cell efficiency is. Definitely a big improvement.

Now for the downside. The thin film technologies rely on some rather exotic, rare, and non eco friendly III-V materials, such as GaAs, InGaP, etc. Most of these are toxic and all of them are "rare"/expensive. And the technology to mfg them is not as widespread and as understood as Silcon.

The good thing with multi-junction cells is that the different layers can each be optimized to capture different parts of the spectrum. Since Si is completely transparent in the infrared, you can add backing to reflect the light back through the wafer and a Si3N4 layer to try to trap the photons.

So for many applications it may be what is more important, cost/Watt or space/watt? In the case of space exploration, space/watt wins. For large scale use??? This technology does seem to offer a 2x improvement in space/watt, which is good.

A friend of mine has spent decades in the solar cell development/mfg with several large solar companies. There has been lots of research on efficiency improvements, but in most cases big improvements came at the cost of mfg efficiency, use of rare/expensive/toxic materials etc. that didn't come to fruition based on available mfg technologies, processes, and material issues. So improvement in large volume applications so far have been incremental, and the high efficiency cells religated to space exploration and a few other cases where cost isn't an issue but weight and size are extremely important.

it will be interesting to watch and see how this technique plays out.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/21/20 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For NASA budget or consumer budget? I assume it will still take significant time before we see these on an RV.
Progress continues...


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BFL13

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Posted: 06/21/20 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As an RVer, I have had solar with a 5er, a Class C, and a TC. We have about the same daily AH useage either way, and we pig out on AH with inverter doing MW and all that.

If we can get a solar set-up on the roof of a TC that will do the job (which we can) it will also fit on a 5er or a Class C.

Battery space is more of an issue, with the Class C being the hardest to find room for them. (The TC can have more in the truck bed ahead of the wheel wells.) Solar roof space is just not an issue in our experience.

YMMV.


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
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ajriding

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Posted: 06/22/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tech is always improving. Now that America's space program is back (and Space Force) maybe there will be more developments in these areas...

I would love to see solar panels powered by UV light, because UV passes through clouds unlike the light current panels require.

Big advances are needed to make a huge difference. Doubling the efficiency would not matter to me as I still have plenty of roof space for panels. Doubling my capacity would not make a difference. Until I can put panels up there that can power an AC unit, without taking up the entire roof, then there is not as much of a need for "more",

For houses this is a different story...

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 06/24/20 05:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some military article said Afghanistan had more rare earth materials than the rest of the world put together. Why would that be?

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