Looking for a Solar panel expert

Hi.
I’m looking for a solar panel expert who can advise me on a new sonar panel that has been designed by a friend.
It collects 40% more power from the sun than current models.
Thank you.

How about some advice right here on Forumosa, for free?

Let me guess… that “friend” claims to have some revolutionary improvement on solar cell (panel?) technology, and wants you to invest money? If so, it sounds fishy.

You could start by checking what exactly he claims to have “improved by 40%”. There are theoretical limits on efficiency of certain types of solar cells. And then there are ways to design/combine/layer/bundle in order to get more energy per area despite those limits in efficiency. Here’s a starting point:


Either way, unless he’s comparing to something super crappy, +40% efficiency would be a tremendous jump. So that guy/gal would need to be doing something extraordinary, that multi-billion dollar companies didn’t think of yet. How likely is that? Possible, but not very likely if that guy/gal is a hobbyist.

My understanding is that for certain types, the best solar cell designs are already almost reaching the theoretical efficiency limits that physics dictate.

Also, it seems to me that better efficiency itself is not necessarily useful by itself - you also need to keep the cost and energy necessary to produce the cells in check: Having a 40% more efficient design at 3x the cost doesn’t make much sense, because (given you have enough space) you could at the same cost just install 2 additional panels and thus have “+200% improvement”.

Generally: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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If the panel rotates to track the sun’s azimuth…I reviewed that patent already

I’ll attach a few pics.

After looking at the pics. Are they impressive?

Or it is just a matter of (short) time before the market catches up ?

Thank you.

Thx 4 ur reply OLM & BEAR.

BTW nobody is looking for investment. I just want to know are the results from the pic worth pursuing.

I guess it’s not possible to say by these photos alone. I’m not an particular expert (just electronics, not specifically solar cells), but just generally, what do we know and what don’t we know from the photos:

  1. What you can see is that they seem to make A+ look better than A.

  2. What we don’t know is what is A. Is it crappy? Then A+ being better would not be impressive. One would need to compare to state of the art.

  3. As far as I understand, one could deliberately make A look worse than it is, simply by not running it in an optimum way. So… are A+ and A are both being run at their specific maximum power point? If A is not but A+ is, then it would not be impressive. It would be cheating.

  4. Price and ammount of energy to produce the cell. If A+ is much more expensive than A, and maybe needs way more energy to produce it, it might not be impressive.

  5. I don’t have the time to look into this right now, but from the numbers on the photos one could estimate how these 2 setups compare to state of the art technology. Just as a reference point.

I hope there are solar guys on this forum that can comment a bit more. I saw one’s profile today by chance, but he’s not been active for a few years…

Generally: if one develops something 40% better all-round than what everyone else has… One should prepare to get rich quickly, and also apply for a novel price in physics.

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Thank you for your reply.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that these photos r 100% legit & I trust this man explicable.

I appreciate your detailed response.

Following

Anyone ?

What else would you like to know?

just fishing for more points of view.

There is only so much feedback that can be provided from a few pictures.

Consider for example I want to buy a simple capacitor. Is it enough to know it is 4.7uF, no. I need to know the voltage tolerance. But would that be enough? No, (but sometimes it might be), I need to know quite a few more things and those things can change the price of the capacitor from a few cents to a few dollars.

An increase in efficiency which is usually at the expense of cost. If you increase efficiency by 40% but do so at 100% increased cost, then you are not likely to win over a many people.

If this friend doesn’t have a PhD in materials science or power electronics or related fields I’m afraid I’m just not inclined to believe that they’ve made any truly significant progress with solar panel technology.

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@hanna149 I’ve met the PhD types trying to flog a product into a market that has no place. “I spent the last 5 years making this super duper piece of equipment” which it generally is, and then you ask how many they sold and it’s like 20. So the next question in how much do you sell it for, and when the answer comes back 10x the most sophisticated model currently on the market, and theirs may well be better, you just have gone way past the bang buck point of anyone being interested.

I see what you’re saying, but what I’m saying is that unless somebody is highly educated in solar cell technology there’s almost like no way they’ve managed to put together a state-of-the-art solar panel to begin with, never mind figured out how to market it. So unless OP can at the very least confirm their friend is some kind of expert in photovoltaics I don’t believe a word.

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What do you mean by “pursuing”?

So one panel has an instantaneous power output of 133W and the other, 94W. This doesn’t really tell you anything; for a more meaningful comparison you’d want to measure watt-hours over several months.

There could be any number of reasons for the difference. Panel efficiency can vary quite dramatically depending on operating conditions - for example, thin-film panels tend to have rather low efficiency under strong sunlight, but comparatively good efficiency under low light levels; that makes them a better bet for northern latitudes.

Just to give you an idea of the degree to which panels are subject to conditions: I have a little water pump that I run from a couple of 20W panels. The panels were dirty and partially shaded by a banana leaf a few meters away. They were putting out about 1W on an overcast day (not even enough to turn the motor). I cleaned them and cut the banana leaf. Output increased to about 10W.

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Any brands of commercial solar panel will give chabuduo performance.
Making sure its surface clean and not blocked by any other stuff is more important to maintain the powerenergy production. As said by @finley

Panels with new materials and high performance will not be commercially viable, as they usually will be significantly more expensive.

Commercial solar panel peaked/rated at 260-270 watt usually have dimension about 1.6x 1 sq m. So the number/size looks right.

I appreciate the input. Thank you.