[Editor’s Note: Based upon some confusion on the tech mentioned in this story, a further check of the technology page of HyperSolar states the company is “developing a thin, flat, optical layer that can inexpensively collect and deliver substantially more sunlight onto solar cells. This allows solar cells to produce multiple times more power.” and also that “when a large area of solar energy is collected and concentrated onto a smaller area, the solar power per unit area hitting the solar cell is magnified. Therefore, the power output of the solar cell is magnified.” We are therefore modifying this story to be more reflective of that and not necessarily a huge 300 percent jump in power output. We also have a question on this out to the company and will update the story again if necessary. Sorry about the confusion on this.]
It’s a breakthrough in solar with a lot of potential. How much potential? The ability to offer upwards of 300 percent the magnification of sunlight into today’s solar cells, according to HyperSolar, Inc., developer of a “breakthrough technology to magnify the power of the Sun to significantly increase the power output of solar cells.” This claim, if true down the road, means a single solar cell could potentially output much more power.
It would seem the company knew it had arrived at a significant new technology for concentrating solar power, but did not, until this point, have the hard data. Now they have conducted the first tests on this technology–designed to go directly on top of existing solar panels–and found that with one of their thin concentrator layers, the output of a single existing solar panel can be boosted to the equivalent of three. HyperSolar believes this will allow solar panel manufacturers to reduce the number of solar cells in their panels by 66%, dramatically reducing the cost per watt.
The HyperSolar cell design makes use of a thin and flat light magnification layer with thousands of tiny light collectors on the surface that funnel light into a proprietary light routing network that carries light to a smaller output area on the bottom, where a solar cell can be attached. By tweaking and adjusting this design, according to HyperSolar’s CEO, Tim Young, the company may be able to produce improved efficiencies of as much as 400%.
“We are very excited about this breakthrough by our development team,” said HyperSolar’s CEO, Tim Young, in a statement. “Considerable work has been done in the solar industry to make solar cells more efficient. However, we believe that a critical advancement will be to actually control the delivery of sunlight onto solar cells. At HyperSolar, we are developing the world’s first thin and flat light magnification layer for direct application on top of standard solar cells to increase their power output.”
Looking for green gadget gift ideas for this holiday season? We have you covered with our annual Green Gadgets Holiday Gift Guide – check it out now!