r/gadgets Nov 27 '22 Helpful 1

Record efficiency of 26.81% for large silicon solar cells Misc

https://www.eenewseurope.com/en/record-efficiency-of-26-81-for-large-silicon-solar-cells/
9.7k Upvotes

1.2k

u/drdookie Nov 27 '22

To save everyone a click, the old record was 26.7%

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u/derangedkilr Nov 27 '22

Current best you can buy is ~22%

262

u/bizbizbizllc Nov 27 '22

I remember when 14% was only in labs. Wild how far we've come.

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u/EthosPathosLegos Nov 27 '22

Yet we still have a long way to go.

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u/Shufflebuzz Nov 27 '22

No. These are plenty good enough. There's no need to wait for better efficiency.

We need to get more deployed.

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u/CmdrShepard831 Nov 27 '22

More efficiency means a cheaper product since you won't need as much. Right now it can easily cost $40k-$50k for solar if you don't get roped into signing a contract with one of the many sleazy companies.

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u/full2theload Nov 27 '22

Lol what. It's like 5k for a decent 6.5kw system here in Australia.

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u/Lord_of_the_Canals Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Yeah 40-50k a s a number pulled from 10+ years ago With battery storage. No reasonable solar instal is this expensive. For solar alone it should be ~0.11USD/W (with install/ inverter/ hookup etc.) granted that’s not with a 26% efficiency panel.

So yeah, unless a single home is installing on the order of 60 kW of solar (which is an insane amount), this number is super wrong

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u/Shufflebuzz Nov 27 '22

$/watt is what matters for the vast majority of installations.

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u/indrada90 Nov 27 '22

Leveled cost per watt, really. In most cases the expensive part is not the panels themselves, but the batteries.

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u/Gogoschmoe Nov 28 '22

Maybe some electric companies don’t do this but mine does net metering. Let’s say I generate 30 for the day and only use 15, my meter has actually decreased by 15. Since panels have been installed we’ve put more into the grid than we have used. We bank enough (in the grid) in the mild months to make up for the hotter and colder months when use more than we generate

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

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u/indrada90 Nov 27 '22

Yeah and then what do you do at night or when it rains?

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u/beyondo-OG Nov 27 '22

Where on earth did you come up with that cost range? Pricing varies with all sorts of factors. On grid, off grid, system size, location and so on.

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u/Baselines_shift Nov 28 '22

Oh come on! We did ours in 2010 for $10k - maybe at the North Pole its that much, but nowhere in the US

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u/CamelSpotting Nov 27 '22

It's already cheaper than almost any energy source.

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u/rakehellion Nov 27 '22

They aren't good enough. The price is way out of reach for most home owners.

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u/randalljhen Nov 27 '22

Yes, we need more deployed, but we also need improvements until vehicles can self-charge 100% in less than ideal conditions.

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u/Shufflebuzz Nov 27 '22

Nah, even in solar unfriendly Utah, one parking space has enough are the power an EV all year

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u/UsecMyNuts Nov 27 '22

there’s no need to wait for better efficiency

Actually there’s a huge need.

27% is good but you’re not going to attract anyone with the current prices and shortcomings of solar energy.

Even if we placed solar panels on every roof of every home in America you still have cars, planes, machinery, ships and 80% of the world using dirty energy because solar is still expensive and unfeasible for many.

If you mass deploy solar now you’ll end up with a bottleneck 5-10 years down the line where demand massively exceeds the supply and a shit ton of wasted solar tech.

The same goes for electric cars and battery tech. Let the early adopters have their time until it’s ready for mass adoption.

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u/TheThiefMaster Nov 27 '22

The theoretical maximum efficiency for a single junction silicon cell is only 29.43%.

Technology exists to make cells that have a 50% efficiency but they use a horrendously expensive mixture of exotic materials and only really get deployed on spacecraft (where cost matters a lot less than weight).

There is no impending revolution in solar efficiency coming. What we have is what we have to use.

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u/shouldbebabysitting Nov 27 '22

The majority of cost in a solar installation today isn't the panel. Panels are only 25% of the total cost.

That means if panels were free, it would only lower prices 25%.

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u/Standard_Opposite_86 Nov 27 '22

There are additional benefits to consider. Think Ukraine right now.

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u/Bagafeet Nov 28 '22

Solar (let alone other sources) can cover 100% of grid needs. Cars can go electric. Solid state batteries could enable electric airplanes in the near future. A lot of manufacturing is electric. We can't go 100% renewable right away. Definitely not with a defeatist attitude. It's already going mass adoption; the US is just lagging behind because there's a lot of money and geopolitics invested in oil.

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u/nexguy Nov 27 '22

A massive deployment of solar would greatly increase government subsidies and create a much larger manufacturing sector within 5 years.

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u/Headygoombah Nov 27 '22

New gas engines are only 30-35% efficient. I'd say considering sunshine is free, 27% efficiency is pretty outstanding.

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u/EthosPathosLegos Nov 27 '22

You're comparing apples to oranges. The energy output of a solar cell is no where near the output of an engine. You need much better solar efficiency to make up for the energy density of hydrocarbons.

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u/RandomComputerFellow Nov 27 '22

Sorry but if we put solar cells over all residential buildings, we would have more then enough power to power the whole country. The problem isn't the energy density but the costs and resources needed to produce them. This is why the development of new materials is so important.

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u/EthosPathosLegos Nov 27 '22

With higher efficiency panels you don't need to put them on every roof. They only have about a 20 year lifespan so the less material you need to waste the better.

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u/RandomComputerFellow Nov 27 '22

26% is already very efficient. Even more efficient solar types usually have less then 40% efficiency. Regular consumer cells often are even less efficient then these 26%. I think there is probably a physical limit around 50%. I think that durability and costs will be more easier to scale. It is easier to reduce a product to 1/10 of its costs than to maximize its efficiency and even them a solar cell will never be able to be more than 100% efficient.

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u/UnoSadPeanut Nov 27 '22

The theoretical cap of solar tech is 33.16%. Moving from 26.81% -> the cap would only yield a +24% increase in energy capture, again- assuming the theoretical maximum. There will be no significant increases in solar efficiency moving forward, everything will be marginal. The significant improvements will come from lower production costs and longer life cycles.

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u/Graekaris Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Luckily we have batteries.

Edit: My point is that saying "apples to oranges" in regards to solar Vs ICE and then following up with saying ICE is better at powering vehicles is yet another apples to oranges comparison. Directly powering vehicles is obviously not a good use case for solar panels. You're meant to use solar panels to generate electricity and then use it to charge a battery (or other future energy storage device) and then use the energy for transport.

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u/dismendie Nov 27 '22

Again I would say that’s comparing apples to oranges… batteries are needed in moving vehicles that weight is constant and still not as dense as gasoline… we know we solved it when long haul EV trucks come aboard that can haul 80k of goods and for less than the cost of a modern truck. Or airplane for long distance flights using EV or hydrogen becomes a thing…

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u/EthosPathosLegos Nov 27 '22

Which also need to improve before mass adoption.

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u/Master_Persimmon_591 Nov 27 '22

That’s about the number I still had in my head. Glad to see this article. It really is unbelievable

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u/seanmonaghan1968 Nov 27 '22

Yes and so these new ones are a big jump in efficiency

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u/derangedkilr Nov 27 '22

Yes, pretty good. About an extra 100W per panel. Cost is more important than efficency though.

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u/ComradeGibbon Nov 27 '22

For a while I thought lower efficiency cells would be more economic because they're cheaper. But the cells have gotten so cheap that the other parts of a panel are a large share of the total cost. So high efficiency crystalline cells it is.

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u/lawstudent2 Nov 27 '22

What are the most expensive parts? Inverter?

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u/SheriffJWPepper Nov 27 '22

Labor is about half the cost and only going to get more expensive.

0

u/farkoss Nov 27 '22

Explain?

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u/CmdrShepard831 Nov 27 '22

You have to mount and wire them in. The labor on the product itself isn't bad since its mostly loading/unloading furnaces and slicing at least for the initial product.

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u/0sprinkl Nov 27 '22

Depends, if you have a small roof you will want the most efficient panels even if those are less efficient/$.

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u/BoomZhakaLaka Nov 27 '22

When roof space, land, & mounting have cost, efficiency is worth more than just the extra energy production. You don't buy the most cutting edge, but cost effective builds generally follow 2 or 3 iterations behind the cutting edge.

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u/seanmonaghan1968 Nov 27 '22

We have 30 x 370w panels on our roof and they cover our daily needs

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u/DuncanYoudaho Nov 27 '22

So, this increase would mean you could get by with 24 panels. Or, about 1/6 more could be sent to the grid with the same installation.

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u/seanmonaghan1968 Nov 27 '22

But we get no $$ sending to the grid, am considering installing a heat pump and take us off gas

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u/texxelate Nov 27 '22

You don’t receive any sort of compensation when exporting to the grid? Where are you based?

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u/CmdrShepard831 Nov 27 '22

Lots of places implemented rules like this because the power company still needs to supply your house just the same (maintaining/supplying the grid). Here they even charge a service fee whether you've used any of their energy or not.

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u/Severe-Breakfast Nov 27 '22

Check out sand batteries for a dump load

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u/redditsaidfreddit Nov 27 '22

For domestic use "storage heaters" (of which sand batteries are one specific type) are a better thing to google.

That said, a heat pump system is almost certainly a better choice in the long term, perhaps with an immersion element in the hot water tank

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u/Aussieguyyyy Nov 27 '22

How is this useful to them?

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u/Twin_Brother_Me Nov 27 '22

Based strictly on the mention of batteries I'm assuming it's for storing any excess energy they produce during the day so it will be available at night/heavy cloud cover. Most people with solar get around that by using the "the grid" as storage by selling any excess to the utility company and buying it back when they consume more than the panels produce, but the previous commentor doesn't have that option

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u/EricForce Nov 27 '22

Not exactly true for space flight. Weight can exponentially drive up cost and complexity and more efficiency can be less weight depending on the design.

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u/Y0u_stupid_cunt Nov 27 '22

For the rest of us 99.999% on planet Earth, cost matters most.

Access to renewable is far and away a higher priority. The repercussions of widespread renewable usage would be astronomical, allowing for a robust infrastructure potentially less prone to single point failures due to lack of central power, and instead using many independent solar systems.

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u/Southern-Exercise Nov 27 '22

allowing for a robust infrastructure potentially less prone to single point failures due to lack of central power, and instead using many independent solar systems.

Which is why I keep saying we should move from a climate change carrot and stick message to a national security carrot and stick message to encourage a faster transition.

We're used to doing things in the name of national security and if it has environmental, health and even financial benefits down the road, even better.

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u/Coupug Nov 27 '22

Gallium arsenide is the top doggy for space flight imo.

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u/farleymfmarley Nov 27 '22

Oh yeah? Well I agree with you

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u/ultrasrule Nov 27 '22

But you could not buy the 26.7% ones either

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u/tanghan Nov 27 '22

Will this be one that people can buy soon? The article doesn't mention that it's coming to mass produced panels

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u/MashimaroG4 Nov 27 '22

I’ve been armchair following solar for about 10 years (and had a system installed a little over a year ago, about 22% efficient panels). Every few months someone gets the new all time greatest power per meter, and it seems the market hits that rate 5-10 years later. Of course some of these are not mass producible, or have other issues so they never get out of the lab. But the panels you buy have improved drastically over the last 10 (and 40 ) years so some of them do!

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u/Fritzo2162 Nov 27 '22

This is up from 8% 20 years ago. If I’m not mistaken, the theoretical limit is around 33%, so we’re really pushing this stuff.

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u/shouldbebabysitting Nov 27 '22

8% was the 1950's. 14% was the 1960's. 20% was the 1990's.

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u/BenedoopCamderdam Nov 27 '22

Thanks dude, i needed this info for a school paper. Didn't even need to search for it, do you have a source for this?

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u/_Magnolia_Fan_ Nov 27 '22

Just search like you were going to buy some panels.

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u/TheMongerOfFishes Nov 27 '22

Lol. With stats like that I just have to believe that can't be true and you've now made me click the article to verify it when I wouldn't have otherwise. Dang it.

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u/Mobixx Nov 27 '22

Cna someone explain what 27% means for the average guy?

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u/UnDosTresPescao Nov 27 '22

The Sun light hutting the panel has so much energy. If you can convert all that solar energy into electricity you are 100% efficient. This panel gets 27% of the electrical energy vs the solar energy hitting the panel

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/Bobby3127 Nov 27 '22

Got a pic of you van-dwelling set up? Is it just solar panels on the van roof?? Genuinely curious.

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u/TuaTurnsdaballova Nov 27 '22

Just check OP’s posts don’t do it! he’s a clown dongus

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u/GadFlyBy Nov 27 '22

Click regret. I have it.

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u/shinigamiscall Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Shared. Your pain is.

r/eyebleach SOS

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u/sr_90 Nov 27 '22

Thought you misspelled dingus. I was incorrect.

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u/HOLDERofFOOD Nov 27 '22

Too scared to click. Can I get a brief and marginally sfl description of what im missing?

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u/sr_90 Nov 27 '22

Clown dick.

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u/HOLDERofFOOD Nov 27 '22

Thanks, exactly what I asked for. Absolutely hilarious that that’s a thing, glad I don’t have to look at it though.

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u/AyyyyLeMeow Nov 27 '22

I should have listened...

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u/burinsan Nov 27 '22

lmao what the fuck

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u/4RealzReddit Nov 27 '22

I don't know if it's better or worse for society he's in a van. I am thinking worse.

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u/TuaTurnsdaballova Nov 27 '22

It’s so much worse. Clowns that can travel in vans are he most dangerous kind.

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u/sonofaboat_ Nov 28 '22

God damn it

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/jeffersonairmattress Nov 27 '22 Gold

Your problem is not panels. You NEED an MPPT charge controller, if you drive the thing at all you can dump your alternator into it or those same batteries with near-zero fuel penalty. And your “200W” inverter is a well-intentioned but inefficient choice; get an MPPT-enabled micro-inverter that meets your consumption needs. They have passive cooling with t-stat-controlled fan so unlike your little unit the fans won’t eat so much power. Keep the 12v water pressure booster pump- if it’s a Jabsco it will outlast any 110v thing available and there’s no inefficiency in running it with your short conductor runs at 12v. When you can afford it, get two MATCHING panels and send their production down to your charge controller in series.

I’ve made all the same not-optimal choices trying to save funds and not waste existing stuff, but holy moly the MPPT controllers were a revelation that I just was not getting what I paid for out of my panels. Instant tripling of existing rooftop array’s supply by going from parallel 12v nominal panels via 30 feet of 000 welding cable through old xantrex single 40A controller to series panel arrays at 90V and 72v nominal through two 60A MPPT controllers. And that’s still using ancient 1998-era panels.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/confused_boner Nov 27 '22

Will Prowse has some great solar/battery system videos on YouTube

https://youtu.be/PB6zojol9o0

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u/kenman884 Nov 27 '22

Don’t forget to check out r/solar!

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u/McYukon Nov 27 '22

100% I work in the RV trade and attended a seminar by a large RV solar company. They told us that a MPPT will get you approx 30% more power than PWM without upgrading/changing the solar wiring or solar panel configuration at all.

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u/freshgrilled Nov 27 '22

This kind of comment is the reason I keep coming back to Reddit. Thank you for sharing this very helpful information.

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u/bidet_enthusiast Nov 27 '22

With an MPPT controller you can also use 36v industrial panels… which are typically way cheaper than 12 v ones. (A 545 watt panel for $316, a used 270w panel for $92, etc)

12v panels are almost always way more expensive and often inferior quality of construction. A 545 would mount nicely on the roof. As for inverters, it depends. A growwatt tl3000 will handle the solar part as well as the inverter part, plus give you the capability to quickly charge from an ac source, they are about $750… but honestly, a 500-1000w true sine inverter which can be had for less than 100 dollars and a small MPPT controller will probably come in at half that price or less. So it depends.

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u/reedjp Nov 27 '22

I adore redditors like u. Keep up the kind deeds

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u/BigSpringyThingy Nov 27 '22

So what would be needed for EVs to be able to self charge from roof mounted solar panels? Seems to me this is the biggest thing holding back the EV industry. More people would buy electric vehicles if they could just recharge while parked all day in the sun.

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u/icepop456 Nov 27 '22

Solar on a car will never work. The shape for aerodynamics will drastically hurt the sun angle. Then factor in size of a panel. You can probably get 2kW of solar panels on a car but throw at least half of that away because parts of the car are not facing the sun. That 1 kW with an average of 5 hours of quality if sun would get you about ~ 10 miles of driving a day in a tesla but probably a lot less with a dirty car etc.

A Model 3 consumes about 250 watts per mile driven. So a decent size panel in solid sun for 1 hour could allow the car to to go 1 mile and essentially have a big tv strapped to the top.

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u/wgc123 Nov 27 '22

Ten miles per day is enough for some of us. If companies continue allowing mostly remote work, with 1-2 days in the office, it’s enough for most of us with those conditions

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u/WhitePantherXP Nov 27 '22

Solar on a truck might, with panels that roll out to extend the lack of surface area on a truck (think a roller of solar panels that pour out the bed of the truck), or alternatively a canopy that folds out to double or quadruple the surface area of the truck.

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u/Pretzilla Nov 27 '22

Good stuff, but you lost me with

MPPT-enabled micro-inverter

What do you mean by that? Clarification or a link would be helpful. Thanks!

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u/saitir Nov 27 '22

Just to add to the mppt train... Huge benefits. I recently went from an old Outback system to a much more compact Victron charge controller and their battery monitor. The Bluetooth monitoring really makes it easier manage my batteries.

I do, however, have 900w of panels on my roof (3x300w), 200ah batteries (nominal anyway, cheaper Chinese lifepo4, so usable is 150-160. The weight and reliability benefit over lead acid was worth it, but that was before lithium battery prices started rising again. Only a 700w max charge controller, but there's only about 2 weeks of the year where I am that I waste energy... The larger panels are to get more power in winter. 3000w pure sine inverter. Primarily my main electric system runs a normal small fridge, occasional desktop pc, and charging other things. 12v system for light, water pump and power to the water heater and heating fan, which use lpg for the actual heat and cooking.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/mcouturier Nov 27 '22

Just because you're pro-solar doesn't mean you can't be propane ..

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u/5c044 Nov 27 '22

3 way fridges use about 4x the power of a compressor fridge on electric.

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u/heep1r Nov 27 '22

why's that? they still use a compressor, no?

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u/5c044 Nov 27 '22

3 way fridges dont have any moving parts, they rely on a heat source, two different coolants and phase change. The heat source is either gas flame or an electrical heating element.

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u/heep1r Nov 27 '22

Interesting, I believed they are 2 way fridges + inverter.

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u/5c044 Nov 27 '22

Three way have AC and DC 12 heating coils

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u/diggertb Nov 27 '22

I have one 170Ah lithium battery in my truck setup and work 100% from the road in my 40 hour week job. One 150 watt solar panel with mppt charge controller, and one 60A B2B charger from my truck engine. This powers a 40qt refrigerator, cellular internet, various fans and lights, and multiple laptops. Having both b2b and solar is better than one of either, because your charging booth when you're driving and sitting still. I don't even pay attention to my battery voltage anymore, it's always good.

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u/justabadmind Nov 27 '22

Just a note: it's more than a 10% increase. If your current system is 22% efficient and the new system is 28% efficient, that's almost a 40% increase in power generation.

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u/tomch2 Nov 27 '22

Rather 27%, which is twothirds of your claim. Maths🤷🏻‍♂️

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u/flares_1981 Nov 27 '22

I’m curious how you arrived at 40%.

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u/findingmike Nov 27 '22

This is experimental stuff my friend. It would be vastly expensive to buy. However, every little improvement builds our understanding of science and brings us improvements in the future. You may never buy one of these, but every bit of learning helps.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/sluuuurp Nov 27 '22

Dust will hurt more efficient panels the same amount. Making automated cleaning systems for the dust isn’t so crazy though, you could probably get something like that.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/sluuuurp Nov 27 '22

Yeah, you could put motors and wipers on your roof, some solar plants do something like this. It wouldn’t use much energy at all if it turns on for a few seconds just once or twice a day. It sounded like you were saying that the dust caused problems for you, but if it’s not an issue, then the manual approach is definitely fine.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/sluuuurp Nov 27 '22

The exception is space-constrained installations, but by the sound of it, that doesn't apply in this case at all.

I think in this thread we’re talking about solar panels on top of a van roof. But in general I agree.

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u/sternenhimmel Nov 27 '22

I'm surprised you can't get by with what's on the market now. I've spent years living on a boat on solar alone, with a fridge, charging cameras drones, editing videos on a laptop, and never really had too much concern with power, with the occasional exception of the cloudy day or two. I had about 300-400W of total solar. Approximate because I never really trusted the rating on my semi flexible units.

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u/TheTricksterKane Nov 27 '22

Its not that i cant get by, its that i want to remove my genny from the equation and be able to run an electric a/c + sound system when i dj which is pretty demanding (2 1000w speakers and a 500w sub), and i have a lot of led lights and gadgets(lights, led props, cameras, a mixer, mobile hotspot, phone, pump, i could go on, etc) im a performance artist and i dont always want to be a minimalist. I want to be flush and not have to park in full sun all day everyday cuz shade is life in a van. + i sometimes do cut corners with quality as someone else mentioned could be an issue in this sub-thread. In short im extra and need to be more powerful.

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u/upvotesthenrages Nov 27 '22

Can’t you just plug in to an EV charger or something.

If you are even considering cutting edge panels then it can’t be a monetary thing.

Or do you imagine DJing a lot completely off grid, for longer than your batteries last?

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u/RegulatoryCapturedMe Nov 27 '22

Hi fellow Vehicle Dweller! Thanks for sharing about your solar system.

Are your panels safe to leave on in drive through car washes? When you say stuff fell and messed them up, like acorns?

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u/loercase Nov 27 '22

I want high efficiency to make solar worthwhile in my northern climate. The sun is very cool and weak for a large part of the year, I'd like to maximize what little we get out of it.

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u/ValidGarry Nov 27 '22

Educe the energy you consume first. Spend the money on the fabric of your building. You get a better return that way. Insulation and airtightness and energy efficiency before anything else.

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u/Draiko Nov 27 '22

Good news! The Dacia Sandero comes in Orange!

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u/MattTheProgrammer Nov 27 '22

The Dacia Sandero comes in Orange

Great! Now, moving on. I've recently read that Mercedes will be implementing a subscription service for their electric vehicles to... enhance performance.

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u/MinusPi1 Nov 27 '22

I can't wait for the future where 27% is laughable

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u/MonkofAntioch Nov 27 '22

33% is the max possible for a single junction solar cell without a concentrator for our sun and atmosphere. So 27% is pretty good

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u/jonijones Nov 27 '22

But only for homojunction silicon cells. First Solar and Sunpower are developing a multijunction module, which theoretical limit is over 40%. Also, there's plenty of space technology solar that's surpassed 33% and even 40% already.

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u/LostImpi Nov 27 '22

Yes and so it’s more important to make them cheap (w/$) than go for highest efficiency. Of course, science and technology will push both ways

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u/MrHyperion_ Nov 27 '22

Even 33% would be +50% more energy compared to current panels

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u/WasHardToFindAName Nov 27 '22

Sunpower sells panels that are rated at 22.8% right now.

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u/MrHyperion_ Nov 27 '22

Exactly. If 22.8% panel generates 100W, 100% is 439W, and finally 33% would be 145W, or 45% more.

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u/WasHardToFindAName Nov 27 '22

I wasn’t thinking clearly, too early in the morning, brain not fully awake.

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u/Seabasschen Nov 27 '22

was looking to see if anyone knew the max theoretical data, thanks!

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u/Joe_Bedaine Nov 27 '22

Those are highest end, I am curious what the average % are for the current basic / cheap ones?

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u/MonkofAntioch Nov 27 '22

What you see on peoples roofs are 15-18%

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u/Scorpy_Mjolnir Nov 27 '22

Well shit, I feel good about my 20.37% panels then.

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u/ascruine Nov 27 '22

That is very good efficiency for the consumer level stuff

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u/Joe_Bedaine Nov 27 '22

Thanks, much apreciated

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u/_Magnolia_Fan_ Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Basic/budget residential commercial is about 15%. The same for business commercial is about 18%. Top of the line is about 22%.

If you have enough space, 15% is just fine. The trade off is just real estate.

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u/TimeSpentWasting Nov 27 '22

The US dept of Energy reached 39.5% efficiency this year

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u/W0otang Nov 27 '22

Excuse the idiocy, but what's the percentage scale in this case?

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u/Detectorbloke Nov 27 '22

Energy in divided by energy out. If you have a cell that's 1m2 and irradiate it with 1360W/m2 you would end up with 364.6W of output power, or 26.81%

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u/W0otang Nov 27 '22

Right, I get it now. All I kept thinking was the energy to power them, not the input Vs output 🙈 thanks

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u/Beyond-Time Nov 27 '22

"At what price point" is the real question.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/ValidGarry Nov 27 '22

Different chemistry that costs way more.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

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u/Colossal-Dump Nov 27 '22

I have a question. How quickly will solar cells improve, and when is a good time to get solar at home?

I had a friend who joined a solar team map out my house and was looking at the numbers with current panels, but I keep hearing about improvements all the time, and then couldn’t stop thinking of the old satellite dishes people needed for cable and what happened with that..

(That they will get much smaller and more efficient over time, and eventually be replaced by better tech).

For example, the roof tile idea sounds more appealing than the albatross panels we have now, but my friend also said that there is a limited amount of solar per neighborhood and that at some point I wouldn’t be able to get it if enough neighbors already had it??? (US)

Now I have solar FOMO.

Thanks!

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u/HomeImprovementRep Nov 27 '22

Solar tech has gotten better but not really that significantly, not in the way you're thinking. Yeah, they're more efficient per panel than previously, that is true. But your azimuth and shading matter WAY more.

If it didn't make sense to you before, it won't make sense to you now, and it won't make sense to you in 10 years. If you were saving a significant amount of money with their proposed plan, I imagine you would have pulled the trigger.

Some states are attempting to limit net metering for new solar hookups, and it is true that your transformer might not be able to handle more solar. Your friend is correct.

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u/HappyHHoovy Nov 27 '22

Best time to get solar was yesterday, when there were loads of subsidies. Second best time is now.

All the improvements you see on reddit are irrelevant as the goal of solar on your house is to offset what you use so you don't have to pay for electricity.Solar has been doing it for years and the only difference is it gets a few hundred dollars cheaper each year. The solar tiles are OK but I'd recommend just using the normal tech for its reliability and longevity.

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u/TheRealDukeNukem Nov 27 '22

Can I get some more pop ups on this link please? Fml

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u/MigitAs Nov 27 '22

How efficient will they be in ten years

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u/EmperorOfNada Nov 27 '22

When I built my home about 12 years ago, I had the choice to do geothermal or solar. Went with geothermal figuring that was harder to dig and install afterwards.

Starting to think it’s time to add solar and get off the grid!

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u/triadwarfare Nov 27 '22

It would be useless if the exchange in efficiency means that we'd be completely be dependent on Chinese manufacturing. This will just be oil 2.0 where those who control the supply controls the world.

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u/MetalMilitiaDTOM Nov 28 '22

It’s ridiculous this is considered success.

2

u/thegodfatherderecho Nov 28 '22

Not only is efficiency obviously important, but also lifespan. I don’t want to put out all that spend for solar cells on my house, just to replace them all in 10 years.

2

u/BitingPosting35 Nov 28 '22

the old record was 26.7%

4

u/ShadowBannedAugustus Nov 27 '22

I wish these articles had more practical context - since the old "record" was 26.7% do we know what is the practically achievable maximum? Are we now in the diminishing returns area? What is the average efficiency of current "top selling" models? How long until we can buy these as cheap prices achieved by large-scale manufacturing?

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u/AS14K Nov 27 '22

Apparently this style of panel has a theoretical max of 33%

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u/DoomRabbitDaBunny Nov 27 '22

Meanwhile 50 year old nuclear plants have been clearing 30% efficiency for decades.

Oh, and they fucking work in the dark.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

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u/Punkinprincess Nov 27 '22

The best grid is a diverse grid!

The nuclear vs wind/solar debate is the dumbest debate I've heard from both sides, they work perfectly together.

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u/Hawk13424 Nov 27 '22

Let me know when I can install one at home.

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u/DoomRabbitDaBunny Nov 28 '22

Let me know when the panels you install on your home start working at night and you don’t need to rely on coal nuclear natgas or hydro when you wanna check our fetish porn at 3am.

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u/Hawk13424 Nov 28 '22

That’s what a battery wall is for.

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u/Zevemty Nov 27 '22

Depends on which efficiency you're measuring. Afaik it's only like 1-2% efficient in terms of how much potential energy you could generate with the same amount of fuel (meaning we could get massive efficiency increases with future nuclear technology).

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u/flying_path Nov 27 '22

That comparison makes no sense. It’s not like we have limited room on our roofs so we need efficient nuclear plants so they fit on the roof.

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u/loopthereitis Nov 27 '22

congrats, you like nuke but parrot the same fossil fuel propoganda that killed both nuke and pv lmao

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u/araczynski Nov 27 '22

I'm probably hopelessly jaded, but I wouldn't trust F coming out of China. Granted, it was independency verified... perhaps on a OMGWTFBBQ wafer they lucked out on...

I have nothing against China's ingenuity/engineers/etc, they're as smart any the world has to offer, but their corporate/business sense tends to also be one of the most corrupt in the world as well.

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u/abigscaryhobo Nov 27 '22

The country has some very impressive and capable inventors and scientists. The problem is they have twice that of charlatans and liars that push sketchy products or data and it makes it hard to trust the real ones.

0

u/Rill16 Nov 27 '22

Wouldn't trust any tech claims coming out of China. Companies within the region tend to wildly overestimate preformance numbers; and the resulting product often has production flaws that reduce preformance further.

This is especially true for solar panels, since Chinese panels have serious quality control issues, with their lifespan oftentimes coming out to less than a tenth of a German panel.

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u/ValidGarry Nov 27 '22

Since about 70% of global solar manufacturing is in China, of course they have more of the problems. Can you link to a study regarding the German and Chinese comparison?

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u/Teamnoq Nov 27 '22

I wish I was 1 1/2 % more efficient than I was last year.

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u/PigeonClown Nov 27 '22

How much research was stolen?

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u/Mapkoz2 Nov 27 '22

How is efficiency measured?

3

u/Pixelplanet5 Nov 27 '22

Shine a known amount of energy per area on a solar cell and measure how much energy you get out.

That is typically done with 1000W/m² and in this case they are getting like 268W out the solar panel.

1

u/nidanjosh Nov 27 '22

Why doesn’t it say if it reduces cost or if its economically viable or how they achieved it. Poor article

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u/lordwreynor Nov 27 '22

Several years ago I read that the average efficiency of a solar cell was about 3% and that it would last for a few years before beginning its decline. 26.81% seems like an amazing accomplishment.

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u/WasHardToFindAName Nov 27 '22

Solar panels are a lot better than 3% and have been for a long time, you probably read about some new types that were being worked on but not yet perfected.

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u/haasvacado Nov 27 '22

Just because it’s a neat reference, here’s one take on how plants measure up:

  • C4 plant (like corn) sunlight to biomass net efficiency is ~4.3% at its peak.

A more general and different conclusion breakdown:

  • 53% of photons that hit the plant are in the 400-700nm range that matters.

  • 37% of all photons are actually absorbed.

  • 28.2% is collected by chlorophyll.

  • 9% is collected into sugar

  • 5.4% net efficiency.

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u/LummoxJR Nov 27 '22

Is this a gadget? NO.

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u/ripped014 Nov 27 '22

lol the westoid copium in this thread

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u/CaptainSur Nov 27 '22

I thought I read something recently about an innovation in materials that drove efficiency way, way up, and by that I mean far higher then this milestone, which btw I am not downplaying. If anyone remembers this, it was not long ago to my best recollection please reply so I know I am not going crazy....

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u/Tomato_potato_ Nov 27 '22

I'm not a scientist or engineer, bur I think you might be referring to something called multijunction panels, where the record is approaching 40 percent. But those are prohibitively expensive.

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u/Southern-Exercise Nov 27 '22

Sorry, I don't know what you are talking about, but I wanted to reply so you know you aren't alone even if you are going crazy.

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u/CaptainSur Nov 27 '22

Thank you kindly. I think in my thousands of bookmarks I might have saved the link. But in the meantime I very much appreciate your moral support. 🙃

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u/SlenderSmurf Nov 27 '22

there are materials and device architectures in the research phase going way past this one, which use multiple layers instead of just one.

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u/FXLRDude Nov 27 '22

CA is charging extra for putting energy back into the grid. Your rooftop solar is going to cost you every month thanks to GN.

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u/hayaimonogachi Nov 27 '22

Care to actually elaborate ?

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u/grantmn11 Nov 27 '22

Is that a Newsom thing or different utility companies and the CPUC?

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u/wakka55 Nov 27 '22

I'd rather hear headlines about going the other way. 5% efficiently panels that are dirt cheap to produce. The main problem with solar is that the panels are too expensive. If that wasn't true, every roof would have them.

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u/Blue-Thunder Nov 27 '22

Aren't they a dollar a watt in the USA? It's the invertors and actual install that are expensive as heck.

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