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Are we about to see a revolution in solar panel efficiency?
24th October 2022

For decades now, solar energy has been steadily proving its worth as a renewable energy source, and countless businesses have already revolutionised their energy with commercial solar panels – including many of our customers right here at Low Carbon Energy. It’s a technology that’s evolving all the time – and recently, researchers in the Netherlands may have achieved a particularly significant leap forward for solar, boosting its efficiency from 22% to as much as 30%. It may not sound like much, but it matters. We explain in a bit more detail below!

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What did the research involve?

Several teams of scientists from the Netherlands essentially joined forces to create a four-pin silicon-tandem device. Don’t worry if you’re not fully up to speed on the technical jargon involved – basically the device makes better use of the solar spectrum because it uses a mixture of silicon solar cells with perovskite solar cells.

Silicon works exceptionally well with light in the visible and infrared spectrums, while perovskites can use wavelengths in ultraviolet and visible light, all the while remaining transparent to infrared light. What’s more, in a four-pin tandem device, the top and bottom cells can operate independently, which allows the use of two-way tandems – effectively increasing the architecture’s overall power output.

Why is this significant?

Overcoming the ‘energy efficiency barrier’, as it’s sometimes referred to, will enable commercial solar panels to be adopted on an even more widespread and industrial scale, especially to businesses and organisations which may not have been able to consider them as viable options before. Most commercial solar panels right now have an energy efficiency of about 22%. (In case that doesn’t sound like much though, you can still achieve a massive amount with that 22% – just take a look at our case studies for examples!)

If this improvement in energy efficiency can be rolled out on an international scale, it’ll enable countless organisations to produce cleaner electricity in greater quantities at a lower cost per unit. That ultimately increases energy availability and reduces the final cost – so your organisation can save more on your energy bills during a period of skyrocketing prices, and future-proof your business against any more market shocks like the ones we’ve been seeing lately.

We’ll keep you posted with any further updates on this developing story! In the meantime, if you’re thinking about installing some solar panels for your own business, but you’ve still got questions, it might be worth taking a look at our post on whether or not you need planning permission for solar panels on commercial buildings.

Or if you’ve got any more specific questions, you can always ask us!

if you need some quick answers, you can always ask us right here at Low Carbon Energy! You can count on us to have all the answers you need – our experts have over 30 years of combined experience, having helped SMEs and large corporations across a wide variety of sectors transform their business’ energy supply.

Each of our installations is bespoke, and we tailor your solution on your specific energy profile, helping us to maximise carbon reductions and save you up to thousands of pounds in energy bills. Feel free to look at our case studies for just a few examples of businesses which have reaped huge rewards from solar, such as Boeing and Irish Water. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!

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