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Old 22-10-2019, 09:38   #1
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Increasing Solar Output

You guys have probably seen this company in the news recently for developing an invisibility shield for the military but he is also patenting his technology to increase solar panel output. Of course itís only going to increase the output up to the rating of the panel but the idea of your panels outputting close to their optimal output per day is pretty appealing...


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Old 22-10-2019, 10:47   #2
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

That's pretty amazing stuff. Will cost a few bucks though I guess....
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Old 22-10-2019, 16:39   #3
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

I may be wrong, but as I understand it, it's all about placing a "light gathering mirror" beside an angled solar panel so that it gets more light when the sun is not perpendicular to the panel. In effect increasing the light gathering area.



Useful if you have lots of real estate to spread the mirrors on as an alternative to installing more panels, but I see little relevance to a boat installation
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Old 22-10-2019, 17:55   #4
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

I want enough to cover my 2 100 watt panels .
I will be a real world beta tester for the company
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Old 22-10-2019, 18:50   #5
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

Yeah, it clearly just adds mirrors.

If you have the real estate to add mirrors, you would be better off adding more panels.
Arguably, if there is unusable (by solar) space between panels, mirrors could add a little.

Along this line of reasoning, there have also been proposals to orbit very large mirrors to focus sunlight on earth-bound solar farms. They too, went nowhere.
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Old 22-10-2019, 19:05   #6
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

Quote:
If you have the real estate to add mirrors, you would be better off adding more panels.
On a yacht, perhaps selective use of mirrors could alleviate shading issues as well as boosting peak output and overall average illumination.

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Old 22-10-2019, 19:07   #7
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

I could see maybe a light gathering lens in a parabolic shape covering the top side of a panel, no larger than the panel.
If and this is a BIG if, it gathers more light, but surely that has been tested?
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Old 22-10-2019, 20:16   #8
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

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Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
Yeah, it clearly just adds mirrors.

If you have the real estate to add mirrors, you would be better off adding more panels.
Arguably, if there is unusable (by solar) space between panels, mirrors could add a little.

Along this line of reasoning, there have also been proposals to orbit very large mirrors to focus sunlight on earth-bound solar farms. They too, went nowhere.
And for good reason. They would fry every living thing that passed through the area.
I would not want to be a bird where mirrors focus on a tower.

https://www.seia.org/initiatives/con...ng-solar-power
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Old 22-10-2019, 21:15   #9
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I could see maybe a light gathering lens in a parabolic shape covering the top side of a panel, no larger than the panel.
If and this is a BIG if, it gathers more light, but surely that has been tested?
How can a lens gather light that is not hitting it? There is so much light per surface at a given time, period.
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Old 22-10-2019, 23:18   #10
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

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How can a lens gather light that is not hitting it? There is so much light per surface at a given time, period.

If the lens is above the panel and the light source is not perpendicular to the panel, it will theoretically collect more light.
(Please excuse the rough diagram)
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Old 22-10-2019, 23:51   #11
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

Panels are now cheap enough to where the significant limitation is having enough real estate on a boat to deploy them.
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Old 23-10-2019, 03:48   #12
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

I may be misunderstanding this, but towards the end of the video I got the impression that this stuff is placed on top of the panels, not besides it and still works by gathering more light even if the panels orientation is not at its best.
If that's the case than it would help even on cloudy days.
So it would not take up extra space.

Or do I misunderstand it?
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Old 23-10-2019, 10:20   #13
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

A lenticular lens also can help at a low angle because the curved surface gives higher angles over part of its surface. This reduces reflected light loss.
See Stu's drawing above in post #10.
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Old 23-10-2019, 12:17   #14
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If the lens is above the panel and the light source is not perpendicular to the panel, it will theoretically collect more light.
(Please excuse the rough diagram)
A yes, of course you are right. Hadn't thought of this lensshape & position. Will the lens be lighter and or cheaper?
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Old 23-10-2019, 13:43   #15
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Re: Increasing Solar Output

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Originally Posted by double u View Post
A yes, of course you are right. Hadn't thought of this lensshape & position. Will the lens be lighter and or cheaper?


Itís too simple a solution to actually work. My guess is that the lens absorbs or refracts enough light to keep it from working or surely there would have been panels so equipped decades ago.
Or maybe the money is better spent on larger panels? Iíd assume many installations arenít so constrained on available space as a boat is.
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