Singapore Researchers Develop Technology to Rejuvenate Solar Panels

Singapore Researchers Develop Technology to Rejuvenate Solar Panels

Nanyang Technological University’s EtaVolt offers a solution to light-induced degradation in solar panels

Solar panels are widely regarded as a sustainable source of energy, but over time, they degrade and produce fewer electrons, resulting in reduced efficiency. The traditional solution has been to replace the panels entirely, which can be costly and wasteful. However, researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore claim to have found a way to rejuvenate existing solar panels, extending their lifespan and reducing the need for replacements. The technology, developed by NTU’s new company EtaVolt, addresses the issue of light-induced degradation, which affects the performance of solar panels. This article explores the potential of this breakthrough technology and its implications for the solar industry.

The Problem of Light-Induced Degradation

Light-induced degradation is a common issue in solar panels. The very sunlight that powers these panels also creates “holes” that degrade their performance. Heat and humidity further contribute to the degradation process. EtaVolt’s Advanced Regeneration Technology device scans a standard solar panel in approximately five minutes and uses high-intensity light to repair these “holes,” restoring the panels to their optimum performance for up to five years. The cost of this treatment is estimated to be around 20% of the cost of a new solar installation. According to EtaVolt, this rejuvenation process is applicable to 90% of all solar panels currently in use.

The Technology Behind Solar Panel Rejuvenation

EtaVolt’s rejuvenation process involves repairing solar panels to prevent energy leakage and ensure optimal light energy collection. The process takes less than five minutes and can help treated solar panels recover up to 5% of their lost field performance. By applying precise temperature and intense light to the solar cells, the material molecules are excited, causing them to move quickly and repair light and heat damage.

See also  Hologram Technology Brings Long-Dead Pioneers to College Classrooms

Field-Proven Results and Potential for Widespread Adoption

EtaVolt claims that its rejuvenation method has been rigorously tested and validated, demonstrating field-proven results in various commercial applications. The technology has been successfully implemented in projects with major partners in the solar industry, such as renewable energy solutions firm Vector Green. The company asserts that its regeneration solution can save and earn as much as when the PV assets were first installed. Additionally, the automated regeneration process requires less time and manpower, making it a cost-effective solution for solar panel maintenance.

Recycling Solar Panels

While rejuvenation can extend the lifespan of solar panels, there will come a point when they are no longer serviceable. EtaVolt has also developed an automated recycling facility for solar panels. The company’s containerized recycling tool line and mobilized solution allow for on-site PV recycling, reducing logistics and manpower costs. The high-yield recycling process recovers a greater quantity and better quality of materials, which helps lower costs for users. EtaVolt’s turnkey recycling line can be brought directly to the site, making the process more convenient and efficient.

Conclusion:

EtaVolt’s technology offers a promising solution to the degradation and eventual replacement of solar panels. By rejuvenating existing panels, the company aims to extend their lifespan and reduce the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing new panels. The field-proven results and potential for widespread adoption make this technology an exciting development in the solar industry. However, more data and information about the process are needed to fully evaluate its effectiveness. As solar panels continue to play a crucial role in renewable energy generation, innovations like EtaVolt’s technology will be essential in maximizing their efficiency and sustainability.

See also  The Potential Impact of Generative AI in the Financial Sector