How Solar Efficiency is Reaching New Limits

  • The most versatile outdoor solar light
  • Record setting industrial solar technology
  • Lawn and garden lights that shine all night long

Solar technology and clean energy solutions are becoming so powerful and efficient as we replace fossil fuels. It is no coincidence that the government climate action plans promising a reduction in carbon footprint is occurring now that we’ve seen major breakthroughs on tech that harnesses the energy of the sun. The last few years have seen advancements in solar cell technology making it sensible to use in just about every scenario. From industrial sized units to lawn and garden lights, it is better both environmentally and economically to have the sun power our lives.

Seven years have passed since a spin-off company out of Oxford University, OxfordPV, announced co-founder and current Chief Scientific Officer Professor Henry Snaith’s breakthrough solid state high perovskite solar cells. This year the cleantech company plans to install the first commercial perovskite silicon module out in the field. Their solar-tech has recently smashed previous world records, surpassing current solar energy efficiency limits. After raising the first 31£ million of their series D round in March of this year, they have now closed more than $100 million in funding to transform the global solar market and fight the climate crisis facing our planet.

The technological breakthrough

Traditional 156mm x 156 mm silicon bottom cells reach up to 20-22% energy efficiency, and that is where Oxford PV (photovoltaics) is making the revolutionary advancements. By taking advantage of a tandem, stacking configuration and building a transparent cell on top of conventional silicon solar cell it produces a significant improvement in performance that puts 30% efficiency into the realm of possibility. Designed to fit into existing silicon solar cell and module fabrication lines, the tandem configuration allows the remarkable performance boost resulting in increased power output on the same footprint, dramatically reducing the cost of a solar installation. The goal is to develop the ultra-thin solar cell to reach a 37% efficiency with long term stability. This would be nearly 75% more efficient than standard options today and would go a long way in achieving carbon zero buildings.

OxfordPV announced the achievement of 28% efficiency (certified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) during a strong demonstration that took place in final few weeks of 2018. The previous world record (held my themselves) was set at 27.3%, already marginally more efficient than existing solar-tech, drastically reducing carbon footprint and energy costs.

With research labs in Oxford and Berlin, this solar tech pioneer is leading the charge as industrial solar installations and renewable energy solutions are quickly improving. Residential solar power installs have also been steadily growing.

Make the sun shine a little longer with outdoor solar lights

For consumers looking to add simple solar powered devices to their homes, quality products have come readily available and astonishingly affordable. It is now possible to harness a little bit of that free renewable energy to light up our properties well into the night.

A variety of sustainable solar powered lights and gadgets light up my backyard, front yard, and walkways. The most useful and efficient solar light is probably the versatile LightMe hanging bulb attachment that can be easily moved from gazebos, to decks, sheds and tents plus it charges in just a few hours on usb power. Combine that with a few reliable motion sensor mounted wall lights that last through the night, perfect along the side or front of homes, even above the garage or backdoor. Kapata offers great outdoor lawn ground lights that are highly recommended for adding complimentary additional lighting along paths and driveways or to brighten up your garden.

Over the next few years we will see more of a transition towards renewable energy solutions using solar technology. Thanks to the innovations from startups around the globe providing clean energy and government goals to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade. A large part of our future will be directly powered by the sun, harnessing it like we have never done before. Some day soon solar should power the majority of your personal energy use, and that day cannot come soon enough. Check out the Call to Action to see the impact we can have if we all make small mindful choices each day.

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