Amplifying Solar Energy: Researchers Boost Power by 4.5% with Under-Panel Reflectors

By: | May 14th, 2024

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Innovative Research: Unveiling the Power of Reflective Surfaces

Researchers at the University of Ottawa have discovered a way to significantly enhance the effectiveness of solar panels. Their innovative approach involves incorporating reflective surfaces directly underneath the panels, acting as a booster for solar energy capture.

This simple yet powerful technique, detailed in a recent study published in Progress in Photovoltaics, has the potential to increase solar panel energy output by up to 4.5%. The research team, led by electrical engineering professor Karin Hinzer, collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to assess the impact of reflective ground covers on solar energy production.

Space-Saving Solutions:

The study’s findings highlight the potential of reflectors to improve the efficiency and economic viability of solar energy projects. This technology could be particularly beneficial in densely populated areas where space limitations often restrict the size of solar installations. By generating more power per unit of land area, reflectors can contribute to maximizing solar energy production in space-constrained environments.

The research conducted by doctoral candidate Mandy Lewis focused on the placement of the reflective surfaces. The study revealed that positioning the reflectors directly under the panels, rather than between rows, is crucial for maximizing the beneficial effects.

Towards a Sustainable Future:

This breakthrough development paves the way for more efficient and productive solar energy systems. The use of reflectors has the potential to make solar power an even more attractive and sustainable solution in the fight against climate change.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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