“New coating cools and increases efficiency solar cells”


A lot of new school buildings seem to have problems with a bad inner climate. Bad airquality and high temperatures during the summer are the most frequent complaints. These symptoms are often contested by ad hoc solutions which are very energy-inefficient (Prendergas & Erdtsieck, 2007). Heat can cause health issues, especially for eldery, chronically ill people and people with overweight. Research has shown that in The Netherlands each year there are extra deaths during periods of ongoing heat (GGD, 2015).

While searching on the Internet, I came across an article about scientists who have developed a technique which could be the solution for the new school buildings, as well for the groups mentioned above, to control the heat during summer.

Scientists of Stanford have developed a transparant coating which cools solar cells. The transparent thin layer is made of silicium. A unique pattern in this layer causes heat being reflected, while sunlight is getting through.

The scientist have applied the coating on a solar cell and conducted an experiment on the roof of the University of Stanford. Because of the coating the solar cell was over more than 30 degrees cooler. A standard solar cell has an efficiency of approximately twenty procent. The decrease of 30 degrees could increase the absolute efficiency of the solar cell with one procent.

The scientists state that the coating works the best at dry, cloudless areas. This is also the place where most solar panels are placed. Beyond this technique, the scientists think there will be more new techniques in the near future to make the solar panels more efficient.

An interesting thing, the coating could also be used for cars. Suppose you would like to buy a black car, but at the same time you would like to have a cool (cool in the sense of temperature) car, this coating is the ideal solution. (Kraaijvanger, 2015)

  • What do you think of this upcoming technique?
  • Are there any cons?
  • For what purposes would you like to make use of this new technique? / Where would you like to see this technique?

Kind regards,

Fabian Overschie, 375226

References:

GGD (2015). ‘Veelgestelde vragen’ [online] Available at: https://www.ggdgelderlandzuid.nl/~/media/files/ggd-gelderland/mmk/veelgestelde%20vragen%20hitte.ashx [Accessed: 26-09-2015]

Prendergas, E., Erdtsieck, M. (2007). ‘Binnenklimaatproblemen in nieuwbouwscholen door ondeskundigheid in ontwerpteams’ [online] Available at: http://www.schoolfacilities.nl/huisvesting/binnenklimaat/luchtkwaliteit/1930-binnenklimaatproblemen-in-nieuwbouwscholen-door-ondeskundigheid-in-ontwerpteams [Accessed: 26-09-2015]

Kraaijvanger, T. (2015). ‘Nieuwe coating koelt zonnecellen en verhoogt efficientie’ [online] Available at: http://www.scientias.nl/nieuwe-coating-koelt-zonnecellen-en-verhoogt-efficientie/ [Accessed: 26-09-2015]

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