1. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    09 Feb '15 15:48
    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-high-efficiency-solar-cells-rooftop.html#nRlv

    Instead of huge gimbal mount mirrors tracking the sun, these devices concentrate 100X + solar energy on 1 mm square sized cells and an inner lens moves about a cm during the day to fully track the sun. Amazing technology!
  2. Cape Town
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    09 Feb '15 17:251 edit
    Makes me wonder whether you can increase the output of ordinary solar panels by adding reflectors around it to gather extra sun. I guess there is probably a danger of overheating the solar panel.
    I have seen solar cookers and its amazing how a mere 1m diameter dish creates enough heat to cook a large pot of food. I suppose a well focused mirror would melt solar panels.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Feb '15 13:05
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Makes me wonder whether you can increase the output of ordinary solar panels by adding reflectors around it to gather extra sun. I guess there is probably a danger of overheating the solar panel.
    I have seen solar cookers and its amazing how a mere 1m diameter dish creates enough heat to cook a large pot of food. I suppose a well focused mirror would melt solar panels.
    You have to use special materials to stand that kind of heat. Silicon breaks down around 150 C so you need something that can take 2 to 300 degrees C. I hear talk of Silicon Carbide being used and Gallium Arsenide, both can work at much higher heat loads than Silicon.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
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    10 Feb '15 15:56
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Makes me wonder whether you can increase the output of ordinary solar panels by adding reflectors around it to gather extra sun. I guess there is probably a danger of overheating the solar panel.
    I have seen solar cookers and its amazing how a mere 1m diameter dish creates enough heat to cook a large pot of food. I suppose a well focused mirror would melt solar panels.
    You could angle some or all of the mirrors so that they don't concentrate light onto the panels at midday, but in the morning and evening so that you get a higher output away from the natural peak and don't overload the system during the main part of the day.

    I think it would be tricky to get something like this working for a rooftop domestic system, as the mirrors are going to be a real hazard in high winds. Maybe for a small village sized powerstation.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Feb '15 17:50
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    You could angle some or all of the mirrors so that they don't concentrate light onto the panels at midday, but in the morning and evening so that you get a higher output away from the natural peak and don't overload the system during the main part of the day.

    I think it would be tricky to get something like this working for a rooftop domestic system, ...[text shortened]... rors are going to be a real hazard in high winds. Maybe for a small village sized powerstation.
    That would be true for any PV cell system. Also for any roofing material also. Wind will damage everything if it is fast enough.
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