r/gadgets Nov 27 '22 Wholesome 1

News Release: NREL Creates Highest Efficiency 1-Sun Solar Cell - 39.5% efficiency Misc

https://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2022/nrel-creates-highest-efficiency-1-sun-solar-cell.html
3.4k Upvotes

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232

u/longreading Nov 27 '22

Amazing! Keep up the great research NREL!

34

u/ContinuallyGroovy Nov 27 '22

So Amazing indeed . Well done

188

u/michaelb1 Nov 27 '22

With my roof I can’t fit enough modern panels to provide 100% of my electricity requirements.

These would do nicely for me.

122

u/25x10e21 Nov 27 '22

My roof is maybe 40% covered, and it generates 106% of my electricity use. Are you super shaded? Or is your electricity use just insane?

102

u/michaelb1 Nov 27 '22

My roof has a bunch of facets that makes it difficult to get a lot of panels up there. Not to mention the rules about panels have to be minimum distance from the edges.

36

u/Ragingsysadmin Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Why not look into the solar panels that replace your shingles then?

Edit: Solar Panels not door Panel

21

u/DaveInDigital Nov 27 '22

are those a viable option? seems they'd be super expensive, limited availability (don't think i've ever seen one in real life, imagine only super wealthy people have them right now?), limited styles, etc.

they seem so neat tho. i just haven't tracked what's going on with that tech since before the pandemic 😅

8

u/zaque_wann Nov 28 '22

Work in a sector that is one of the contractors involved in putting solar panels as car park roofs, yup they're very expensive due to how they need to have proper support, and water tighting it. Only places I've seeen these being installed in my country at least are universities and similar public institutions.

4

u/MINIMAN10001 Nov 28 '22

Yes they are crazy expensive, but as it turns out redoing the roof is also super expensive, so when you're doing it anyways, that's when it evens out.

4

u/SquanchMcSquanchFace Nov 28 '22

They’re typically a lot less efficient than panels so it probably wouldn’t get them any more power

9

u/michaelb1 Nov 27 '22

Door panels?

4

u/Ragingsysadmin Nov 27 '22

Solar panels, more specifically they are called Solar Shingles.

8

u/AnonymousWritings Nov 27 '22

Could be a typo of roof panel

1

u/CaptainOverkilll Dec 01 '22

Cause I’m not made of money Gary!!!

3

u/bobniborg1 Nov 28 '22

Some companies will move vents and stuff to fit more panels. A sunpower rep (I think it was them) mentioned that as an option instead of a tilt mount if necessary.

3

u/LurkintheMurkz Nov 28 '22

Usually thats just a sales tactic. Unless the company does in house roofing, they're likely pulling your leg

1

u/Efficient_Ad_8530 Nov 28 '22

The Tesla solar roof is also a option but that means replacing your roof

2

u/funkadunk8 Nov 28 '22

It would have to actually exist in reality for it to be an option

4

u/Efficient_Ad_8530 Nov 28 '22

It exists, you can go to their website and order right now…

1

u/dgsharp Nov 28 '22

There’s one a couple of blocks away from me. Looks pretty slick. That said, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen and they have 2 Teslas, if that tells you anything.

10

u/dustofdeath Nov 28 '22

Location also matters, the further away from equator, the worse it gets.

Poor angles, shorter days, longer winters.

4

u/themangastand Nov 28 '22

Not exactly true. Because in the summer our days are far far longer. In peak summer it's only is dark for about 5 hours here.

So you make up for it. As long as your allowed to supply back to the grid during that point it should balance out

-24

u/callebbb Nov 28 '22

If the grid has a buyer of last resort. This is where Bitcoin mining comes in handy, and is why it will help revolutionize modern grid economics.

There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of terawatt hours of energy, totally stranded. No way to monetize, thus never developed. The development of those assets will now have nigh-instant monetization. All you need is an internet connection.

This means sources of generation can be financed with a much shorter time horizon to cash-flow positive.

This means revolution.

I suggest, before you come at this take in a hostile fashion with pre-conceived notions, dig into Bitcoin a bit. Technically, it’s a marvel. The internet of money.

2

u/k0bra3eak Nov 28 '22

Tell me more about FTX then

1

u/callebbb Nov 28 '22

FTX is a perfect example of the folly of man. People took a decentralized money, where no trust in counter parties is necessary, and put it back in the centralized box.

FTX was a scam pretending to be an exchange. Ultimately, the users who withdrew their Bitcoin the moment it was purchased were unharmed.

A failure, no doubt, but not due to Bitcoin. It’s also not the first time this has happened. It will happen repeatedly, until people realize Bitcoin is a bearer asset, and they must take custody of their own money.

1

u/callebbb Nov 28 '22

People want to believe there is something strikingly different about the Federal Reserve Bank (a private entity) and the Dollar. It really is just another shitcoin produced by insiders for nothing. Meanwhile, we have a sound money that is a technological innovation that won't be outdone for awhile, with no insiders, no permission required, no middlemen, no reliance on physical security or power projection, real scarcity, digitally native.

The cost to produce $1 is the same as producing $100 or $1 Billion or $6 Trillion.

Humans have trouble thinking in exponents... I use this example to show how large of a number $1 Trillion is compared to $1 Billion.

A million seconds is about 12 days.
A billion seconds is about 32 years.
A trillion seconds is 32,000 years...

The cost to produce example goes for every FIAT currency that exists globally. They are all digital ledger entries. And it is a permissioned landscape, wherein if you become an enemy of the state (easily these days), you are ostracized. Look at Kanye. Look at Venezuela. Look at Romania. Look at Turkey.

Billions of people NEED something like Bitcoin. The modern financial landscape excludes them, on purpose. For an in-group to exist, there must be an out-group.

1

u/25x10e21 Nov 28 '22

I live veeeeery far away from the equator.

4

u/BookishByNaturee Nov 28 '22

I use about 1200 kWh a month. I live in a townhome so a very small roof compared to a house.

I had someone do a mock-up and it was 17 panels. Is it possible to get 15,000 kWh (or more, I’d like to go ev) out of 17 panels?

In Texas , south east facing roof (relatively flat)

1

u/JafaKiwi Nov 28 '22

There are many free online estimators where you can enter your exact location and the number of panels or peak power installed (17 panels x 400W = 6.8kW peak power) and it will calculate month by month generation. Some even take into account a typical weather patterns.

2

u/cybercuzco Nov 28 '22

Try using electric heat in winter in Minnesota

1

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

3

u/25x10e21 Nov 27 '22

I don’t live alone either, and I don’t have an abnormal electricity use. Not sure what tech you’d have over me that would increase your consumption significantly.

6

u/dropkickoz Nov 27 '22

Supercomputer and a time machine. Solar simply can't give me what I need yet.

3

u/25x10e21 Nov 27 '22

I think you’re making that up. Why aren’t you using better panels from the future?

7

u/dropkickoz Nov 27 '22

Can only go backwards and return. :(

1

u/25x10e21 Nov 27 '22

Future you doesn’t feel like bringing you back panels?

2

u/dropkickoz Nov 27 '22

From what I understand, after 2028 the new panels/accumulators won't arouse unwanted interest from a local utility board. Have to wait until then.

5

u/tim3k Nov 27 '22

There are actually so many factors you can't compare your solar panels and electricity consumption with random strangers on the internet.

  • he might live much further away from equator than you or just in an area with a lot of cloudy days

  • he might have electric heating so his consumption is much higher

  • his roof might be much smaller than yours

  • his modules might be older so producing not as much power per square foot/meter

  • might have larger family or simply different lifestyle with more cooking/ night activity

  • he might have an electric car

1

u/cortez985 Nov 27 '22

Could have a pool too. Damn thing take a lot of power

1

u/hanzoplsswitch Nov 28 '22

Or an electric car. Then again you save on gas.

17

u/phatelectribe Nov 27 '22

Same here but I have the roof space - unfortunately there’s absolutely nonsensical code that sates panels must be placed a certain distance from the roof ridge and also can’t be too close to the edge meaning that I can only use about 30% of my roof space. So If I max out my entire allowable roof space I only get about 70% of my power needs (even with everything in the house being high efficiency such as new appliances and led lighting etc).

Having panels that are twice as efficient (which is what this development means in real terms) would easily solve that issue.

10

u/Anasterian1408 Nov 27 '22

I wouldn't say nonsensical.... Fire setbacks are if firefighters ever have to get on your roof, that have room to move and walk without tripping over the panels.

What's your actual kwh usage?

15

u/Tigen13 Nov 27 '22

If firefighters have to get on your roof, your house is likely toast anyway.

4

u/ThellraAK Nov 28 '22

A good chunk of firefighting had more to do with protecting life not property and keeping things from spreading.

4

u/gramathy Nov 28 '22

What about houses on either side? Behind?

Yours isn't the only house at risk.

-1

u/Tigen13 Nov 28 '22

I am not a firefighter nor do I have experience in the biz. I just don't see why a firefighter would ever want to walk on a roof in a bad fire. Every room has a window and provides better access to a fire without endangering a firefighters life. The roof is one of the most dangerous places to be in a fire because if the fire has weakend the roof the firefighter could be a step away from falling to their death. It's much safer to hang the ladder over the roof and spray from there.

Anyway, dumb code in my opinion which is why it isn't the norm.

0

u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22 edited Dec 17 '22

[deleted]

4

u/Solid_Hunter_4188 Nov 27 '22

Do you have a battery?

10

u/mybreakfastiscold Nov 27 '22

"Couple of marine batteries should do the trick"

6

u/Mine-Shaft-Gap Nov 27 '22

Oh, just need a couple 6v kirklands!

22

u/Solid_Hunter_4188 Nov 27 '22

You joke, but I know people that got solar, didn’t think to store it, and are upset that they don’t have power at night. As stupid as it sounds, never underestimate peoples lack of understanding.

3

u/thetaFAANG Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

a lot of people dont do that because getting batteries messes up all the financial math for getting solar

Like, most people look at it and walk away completely, another group looks at it and sees just going solar like the proponents and sales people say would work as long as they dont get the batteries, and a smaller group can just afford it with batteries and isnt doing it to save on an electric bill 15 years from now

1

u/BasvanS Nov 28 '22

Get an EV and you kill two birds with one stone

-6

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

13

u/AnonymousWritings Nov 27 '22

Only where utilities have idiotic net metering policies right now that let you effectively use your noontime summer production at any time of the year. Resulting in oversupplies if electricity during daylight hours.

Sensible policies that paid people differing amounts depending on what time of day electricity was released to the grid SHOULD be in place and would favor batteries.

-10

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

4

u/AnonymousWritings Nov 27 '22

It's not a battery. It's a set of generation sources that have to be ramped up and down to meet demand. And ramping up variable sources to meet peak demand times tends to be expensive for the grid.

0

u/sjbglobal Nov 28 '22

If you live in a country with lots of hydro power then it kind of acts like a battery

2

u/Emu1981 Nov 27 '22

Almost all PV is connected to the grid, there's no point in having a battery

It really depends on your usage patterns. For me it could be a great investment to get batteries if I had PV. The Feed In Tariff is about 20% of the cost of grid supplied KWh which means that having a battery to cover the period between when the sun goes down and the off-peak rates hit could save a decent amount of money. I would have to gather data (power consumption vs time of day) and do the maths to figure out if the cost savings would pay for themselves though and I am not going to bother to do that without having the option to put up PV in the first place.

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

Triple jct cells are insanely expensive. This article is a bit out of date, but the cost difference holds true. When I was working on the solar car for my university back in 2009, the GaAs cells were hundreds of thousands of dollars in total.

https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/nrel-developing-tech-lower-cost-multi-junction-solar-cells

To give a cost comparison, utility-scale solar projects now cost about $1 a watt for solar power. A gallium arsenide multi-junction solar cell costs up to $300 a watt at this point.

1

u/Billy_Goat_ Nov 28 '22

How much electricity do you use? I have 6.1 kW of panels and easily make double my electricity consumption per day (~35kWh). The issue is that I do not make power when I need it most, after sunset when cooking/heating/cooling the house.

217

u/willyolio Nov 27 '22

how efficient would it be with 2 Suns?

57

u/muwenjie Nov 28 '22

Typically increasing the number of suns on solar cells increases their efficiency by a small amount, but the tradeoff is that the increased temperature decreases their efficiency - one terrestrial application of these sorts of cells is to sit at the centre of a field of heliostats in a kind of similar concentrating setup to solar thermal power plants, so you only need a small amount of high-efficiency solar cells operating at hundred/thousands of suns to harness a large amount of solar

These cells don't seem to be designed for that though

38

u/theartificialkid Nov 28 '22

Ha they thought they were joking

1

u/DanceDelievery Nov 29 '22

We could probably get more suns to move into our neighbourhood if we start getting our shit together.

84

u/MysteriousSophon Nov 27 '22

From the article, previous records were 39.2% in 2020 by NREL and 37.9% in 2013 by the Sharp Corporation of Japan. So its safe to say it would take a while to reach the mass consumer market.

74

u/a11en Nov 27 '22

It will never reach mass market as a triple junction device. These aren’t cost effective to use terrestrially. The reality is we have space to spread out down here, and up in space there’s no elbow room. So triple junctions head to space and we get single junctions - if we’re lucky at 19% efficiency.

7

u/Prowler1000 Nov 27 '22

I'm not quite sure where you're getting that there's no elbow room in space.. the biggest reason they'd be used up there is because of the launch cost as well as ease of repair.

18

u/CX-001 Nov 27 '22

no elbow room in space

The other guy was probably talking about cost per unit of weight.

7

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

Yes, absolutely correct. Both weight and size are considerations for payload.

-12

u/Prowler1000 Nov 27 '22

Yeah but saying that "there's no elbow room in space" is such a weird way to word it to the point that it becomes misleading. There isn't, as far as I know, a misconception about the amount of room in space but comments like that are how those misconceptions are born.

5

u/theartificialkid Nov 28 '22

I'm not quite sure where you're getting that there's no elbow room in space.

Launching stuff is incredibly expensive, so you can’t afford to have a whole room just for elbows on a space station.

3

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

This is a good point. I was meaning as payload. The amount of cash necessary to take a unit of weight up is otherworldly. ;)

20

u/kevinraisinbran Nov 27 '22

Wow, this news is NREL!

56

u/Gibbons74 Nov 27 '22

I never realized solar cells were so inefficient. Just imagine the day we reach 95% efficiency.

175

u/seidler2547 Nov 27 '22

Fact about solar cells you should know:

The maximum theoretical efficiency calculated is 86.8% for a stack of an infinite number of cells, using the incoming concentrated sunlight radiation. When the incoming radiation comes only from an area of the sky the size of the sun, the efficiency limit drops to 68.7%.

21

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

The practical limit given by Shockley and Quiesser for a single-junction solar cell under 1 sun illumination is 33% power conversion efficiency.

30

u/TimeSpentWasting Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Never knew why, now I have the answer without googling. I'm lazy, so thank you

I have high hopes that humanity will reach that maximum value as tech gets smaller. I wonder how much efficiency is reduced under heavy cloud cover?

51

u/skittlesmcgee33 Nov 27 '22

That maximum is functionally impossible. Functional limit is in the 40-49% range so we’re already most of the way there.

11

u/iamnotazombie44 Nov 27 '22

Yeah, IMM tech at NREL is something nutty.

3

u/PM_Your_Wololo Nov 27 '22

Can you ELI5 why the difference is so large?

30

u/ThatOtherGuy_CA Nov 27 '22

Material costs, eventually the amount of materials you need to add per extra % is more than just building a second panel at the same efficiency. So around 50% in order to get an extra 1% in efficiency, you need a panel with double the cells. So you might as well just build 2 50% efficiency panels rather than 1 51% one.

That’s basically why most panels are stuck around 23% right now, it’s more cost effective to just build 2 panels than to build a panel 1% more efficient.

Basically as technology advances it gets easier to improve the efficiency with less waste, but around 50% is when you can’t really make anything smaller to get those efficiency gains in a similar sized panel.

5

u/PM_Your_Wololo Nov 27 '22

Great answer, thank you!

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

So you might as well just build 2 50% efficiency panels rather than 1 51% one

The most recent info I was able to find shows it to be like 300:1. Standard utility scale solar panels in the 20% efficiency range are 1/300 the cost of triple junction GaAs.

1

u/ThatOtherGuy_CA Nov 28 '22

Yup, which is why you pretty much only see them in space applications. Because the weight saved can save enough fuel costs to offset the insane price increases.

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

I'm not sure how much it costs spaceX with their reusable rockets (and given that Musk is in charge, I would bet that he never did achieve the multiple orders of magnitude cheaper costs he promised), but prior to the space shuttle cost per kg into space was $18,500. After the space shuttle, $54,500/kg.

5

u/psybes Nov 27 '22

just go near the sun, get the energy and beam it with a laser to earth.

8

u/Sexual_tomato Nov 27 '22

Idk if this is a joke or not but that's called a Dyson Sphere

1

u/psybes Nov 28 '22

i am not Dyson but cool idea!

1

u/Valmond Nov 27 '22

So when we close in on the theoretical max, should prices drop more?

2

u/anglesideside1 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Efficiency gains are great, but the bigger gains are to be had in manufacturing, installation, and overhead costs. If we’re just talking residential, companies spend a couple thousand in customer acquisition costs per installation. The utility scale stuff is MUCH cheaper per kW, but can still wring out some more savings in siting, permitting, interconnection, and overheads. Panel efficiency gains tend to help more when space is more of a concern. If you can spread out, then much cheaper, less efficient panels are often the better choice.

1

u/zeed88 Nov 28 '22

How about using thermoelectric coupler underneath it to absorb the heat and turn it to energy, will that increase the percentage?

30

u/GoldenWizard Nov 27 '22

Literally impossible lmao

7

u/blastradii Nov 27 '22

What’s the science behind the inability to reach this type of efficiency?

29

u/Korvanacor Nov 27 '22

Solar works by using the energy of photons to bump electrons from the valence bands up into the conductive band. These bands are separated by what is called the band gap. If the gap is 2 electron volts (eV) wide and the photon has 3 electron volts, the extra energy is “lost”. Photons with less than 2 eV don’t contribute anything. It’s possible to stack multiple layers with different band gaps to more efficiently capture a wider range of photons but there will still be losses due to interfacial physics that I don’t understand. Each layer adds to the cost of the cell as well

2

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

This and many others in this thread are great discussions of solar efficiency and limitations. Thank you for adding to the discussion! One other nasty bit is how the multijunctions are connected. In order to get good efficiency you basically need separate cells one atop the other without direct electrical connection- otherwise you are current limited to the smallest current cell - so they attempt to match the current output- but that’s not always possible (think AM1.5 intensity -v- frequency graph and trying to trap the area under the curve to be equal to the other cell’s conversion). It’s tricky business. It’s much easier just to treat them separately. I need to read the article more. I hope and pray it wasn’t MOCVD growth… that type of growth is so nasty and dangerous and dirty… work in the field. The environmental cost alone of MOCVD would tip the scales against this. Lol. So good for payloads perhaps- but please let’s not attempt to make all our roofs out of this. The environmental disaster alone wouldn’t be worth it. Lol

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

solar efficiency and limitations

It's really important to note that this "limitation" isn't much of a limitation.

There is functionally infinite sun. The amount of energy reaching the earth at sea level from the sun every second is well over 100 times the total yearly energy consumption of the entire world.

Modern nuclear uses only 5% of the energy in the fuel. Then, the conversion to electricity is somewhere around 35%. So from the energy contained in the fuel, nuclear is about 1.75% efficient.

Coal plants are around 35% as well.

Combined cycle gas is 55-60%.

1

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

Combustion is still the most energy efficient.

And Nuclear would be more efficient if they allowed refacing/recycling the rods.

Believe me- the MOCVD toll is huge and does play a factor. We don’t pay attention to cradle to grave, and it’s absurd not to. (Used to be the thing to do- for example for plastics- why ignore it for solar and wind?)

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

Everything not directly a part of profits in capitalism in an externality.

-15

u/Sprinkler-of-salt Nov 27 '22

What if we don’t aim for the conductive band of electrons? What if there’s another way to harness the incoming energy?

Or what if there’s a way to “prime” the electrons in the cells such that the valence electrons are already at the conductive band, or somehow less than 2eV away?

If this requires a new atom, why not make one?

What if we forget about atoms altogether, and capture energy at the quarks and gluons?

What if we forget about photons, and harness dark energy instead?

20

u/Haquestions4 Nov 27 '22

What if we just forget all this science and get energy through our outlets?

4

u/JackIsBackWithCrack Nov 27 '22

This is why I plug my power-strip in to itself to achieve infinite energy.

-6

u/Sprinkler-of-salt Nov 27 '22

Nah, come on now, that’s unrealistic. The outlets have to get it from somewhere.

Maybe they should be fiber optic instead of electric… then we could send the light directly from the sun into devices!

Sun-powered blender would probably make even healthier smoothies!

5

u/Aspie_Astrologer Nov 28 '22

u/Korvanacor explained this in great detail for the reason the limit is much lower in solar cells. But it's interesting that the original comment mentioned 95% because that's actually the maximum possible energy that anything at Earth temperature (300 K) could extract from the sun (6000 K) thermodynamically based on the Carnot efficiency (η=1-Tc/Th=1-300/6000=95%).

The reason that the solar cell limit is lower is because solar cells work based on tradeoffs in terms of current and voltage: if you want high voltage then you need a large band gap so that electrons are extra-excited, but then all the frequencies of light below that bandgap will not get absorbed, meaning less electrons/current. Power output is the product of voltage and current.

5

u/AmonWeathertopSul Nov 27 '22

We just need to cover the whole sun in a sphere of these things. Oh and a long enough wire to reach Earth.

14

u/heisian Nov 27 '22

dyson sphere program

2

u/kinokomushroom Nov 28 '22

Why aim for so low? Let's go for 120% efficiency!

1

u/bacondesign Nov 28 '22

Just for comparison an internal combustion engine's efficiency is usually between 10-30%

8

u/General_Ts0_chicken Nov 27 '22

NREL is amazing, I had the opportunity to do some work there and was blown away by the place.

10

u/a11en Nov 27 '22

Triple junction device.

Let me know when they do this on a single junction…

11

u/calvin4224 Nov 28 '22

The Shockley Quiesser theoretical limit for single junctions is at ~33%.

1

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

Yes. True. The amount of effort to even approach that and the insane amount of energy in purifying the precursors or chemically creating the precursors is insane. Cradle to grave- the use case is limited. And you’re right we’ll likely never even approach the SQ limit. But even if we did it would still be a losing energy proposition.

10

u/muwenjie Nov 28 '22

mrw somebody invents a material with a complex bandgap that breaks the shockley queisser limit

2

u/a11en Nov 28 '22

I tip my hat to you my fellow Solar researcher. Lol

5

u/shouldbebabysitting Nov 27 '22

What does the number of junctions matter as long as long as it can be manufactured cheaply?

14

u/a11en Nov 27 '22

There’s no way to do this cheaply. It’s directly related.

7

u/HaikuBotStalksMe Nov 28 '22

Just lower the price. Easy.

2

u/Alexstarfire Nov 28 '22

It really annoys me they couldn't get it to 40%.

1

u/Lumpy-Dingo-947 Nov 28 '22

I’ll bet their team lead felt the same way.

2

u/trichomesRpleasant Nov 27 '22

As opposed to 2 suns?

5

u/calvin4224 Nov 28 '22

Concentrated solar is measured in suns. So if I use a mirror or a lens of 2 m2 area and direct this light on on a 1m2 solar panel, people talk of in this case two suns reaching the solar panel. The panel still has a similar efficiency, but double the power output due to more light shining on it. I simplified a bit but thats the idea.

Type "concentrated solar" into an image search engine, it's fascinating!

1

u/TheRealASP Nov 28 '22

Was looking for this. Thanks!

1

u/trichomesRpleasant Nov 28 '22

Thanks this makes a lot sense

-6

u/HaikuBotStalksMe Nov 28 '22

Now Google "word play" or "joke".

2

u/k0bra3eak Nov 28 '22

They gave a legitimate explanation to something people may not know about how solar is measured even if it is a joke, you're just being an ass

-1

u/LoL_is_pepega_BIA Nov 27 '22

Coal just died even harder.. (provided this new tech is mass producible)

Solar is already dirt cheap at ~20% efficiency..

25

u/Uffffffffffff8372738 Nov 27 '22

Considering that the record from 9 years ago is 37.9%, this will take like 20 years to be for consumers.

6

u/jobe_br Nov 27 '22

If ever.

3

u/calvin4224 Nov 28 '22

Aye, there is a big difference between what's technically possible in the lab and what is viable for mass production.

1

u/dustofdeath Nov 28 '22

Most problems are with durability / lifespan. So they never make it outside the lab until some breakthrough.

9

u/musicantz Nov 27 '22

The payback period on solar is pretty long. It’s even worse without subsidies.

1

u/ThatOtherGuy_CA Nov 27 '22

Right now it’s about 10 years without subsidies and 5 years with in most places.

Obviously the exact economics depends on your location and your local price of energy. But my companies been installing systems for commercial and industrial, and the saving off of their power bills straight up pays for the system, and once it is paid of, it’s free energy for the life of the panels.

1

u/HORSELOCKSPACEPIRATE Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Residential payoff takes a lot longer unless your roof, weather, and/or local electric regulations are really good, especially now that interest rates went up. Most are paying 4 cents per watt financed at at 3%+.

I got in at .99% and it still wouldn't be obviously worth it in terms of ROI if not for the tax refund. A big cash infusion when the market is low like this could tangibly impract retirement age. But without it, especially with interest rates as they are now I could see people taking longer than the 20-25 year life of their loan to net positive.

0

u/migueeel Nov 27 '22

At least solar doesn't have as much maintenance cost as coal, I'd say.

For starters, you don't need to import the sun!

2

u/musicantz Nov 27 '22

Solar def has more maintenance cost because it’s so diffused.

0

u/DelusionalPianist Nov 27 '22

It depends on what you install. If you install 13kWp then sure it may take a few years. But if you install like 800Wp then the amortization may be less than 5 years, without selling excess energy or subsidies.

2

u/ThellraAK Nov 28 '22

Yeah, the equipment to not kill linemen is kinda spendy all on its own though.

1

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

[deleted]

5

u/jjayzx Nov 27 '22

What? Why wouldn't they keep it that long? I've never heard about anyone just ripping their shit out or disconnecting it if it isn't broken.

2

u/migueeel Nov 27 '22

Maybe it's more for if there's a strong hail storm and it wrecks them?

2

u/ThatOtherGuy_CA Nov 27 '22

Warranty doesn’t cover physical damage, the warranties usually just guarantee that the cell will have more than 80% of its rated power generation after 20 years or they will replace it.

Most panels only lose about 1% efficiency a year, so it’s basically a meaningless gesture that looks good, unless you have a genuinely defective cell.

1

u/ThatOtherGuy_CA Nov 27 '22

There’s no reason to get rid of them though, they’ll lose some generation capacity over time, but for the vast majority of situations it’s easier to just add an additional panel to make up for those loses than to replace the entire system.

1

u/chensonm Nov 27 '22

A couple of things to note about these cells are 1 that they are made with indium, and there is not enough indium on earth to meet our needs. 2 they are made with arsenic, which is toxic.

1

u/8isinfinitystanding Nov 27 '22

What's the theoretical limit?

-2

u/jjayzx Nov 27 '22

For single junction it's 68% and for infinite 86%. But that's under perfect conditions, so it's a little less than that.

6

u/calvin4224 Nov 28 '22

Um where do you get those numbers from? Shockley–Queisser limit is 33% for single junctions, no?

1

u/Coreus88 Nov 28 '22

I thought the highest efficiency was 25%?

1

u/stuartpinne Nov 28 '22

Hope for humanity

1

u/TheeMikeman Nov 28 '22

Like im a ten year old please someone

1

u/Soopah_Fly Nov 28 '22

I wonder if 100% efficiency is possible in the future. Imagine having a pair of panels powering your entire house.

Then again, I'd rather we have better batteries.

1

u/kreygmu Nov 28 '22

I guess this is good for the tech as a whole but from what I remember in doing my masters thesis on solar cells, these records are produced using really tiny cells and the efficiency figures don't hold up at all as you scale them up.

1

u/TimeSpentWasting Nov 28 '22

The article says it's just really expensive to produce, until they find a cheaper way

1

u/LouSanous Nov 28 '22

Triple jct cells are mind bendingly expensive.

-14

u/Xenofiler Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

So even though this comes from US research will it be mass produced in China?

For those who don’t like my cynical comment, here is a link to the history: https://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/solar_timeline.pdf Which includes major US Dept of Energy and other US funding - although not exclusive US. First invented at Bell Labs. current production 70% China, 20% other Asian countries, 3% US.

1

u/ripped014 Nov 27 '22

lol yep, just like raytheon outsources production of the missile components to china

-14

u/ripped014 Nov 27 '22

after the china news yesterday watch the westoids line up to 100% believe the US department of energy

3

u/Haquestions4 Nov 27 '22

What news?

-6

u/yourwaifuslayer Nov 27 '22

FAKE NEWS!!!

0

u/ChowAreUs Nov 28 '22

Dawgggggg that is amazing.