Although solar panels can only convert about 18% of total light into electricity, that doesn’t mean doubling the available light
doesn’t double the output –whilst technically efficiency remains the same. I know most panels absorb UV, which means using a glass mirror (rather
than say aluminium foil) isn’t such a bright idea after all, since “transparent” glass tends to absorb UV (at least I understand this is why you
don’t get sunburnt whenever working in e.g. a greenhouse).
is right about (standard PV solar panels) having lower efficiencies at higher temperatures (for one thing electrical
resistance increases). To me this means two things…
1. In England a bit of reflective foil would do far, far, more good than harm, as temperature (for all but three months of the year, i.e. mainly
May-August) isn’t that much of a problem, and even during those months most of the time it won’t be.
2. Why, Why!!! Can’t solar panels be cooled from behind, by plate containing water (the front-hot side of this plate made from metal, the back
The hot-warm water could obviously be transferred to a water tank, which could either warm the house directly, or warm it to an
even higher temperatures through an electric Heat Pump. However: During the summer this heat would be a complete nuisance, therefore it could also be
piped round either: To shady sides of the roof-road, or the soil-water pond of your garden, or your house foundations (beneath floor insulation) (more
likely foundations, if it’s a new build property, of course).
I know the cooling water could freeze during winter, but thankfully somebody invented anti-freeze!!
Circulating coolant water (inside a loop) isn’t such a major energy expense, especially when the electricity required comes from
the solar panels, and cooling this panel increases (net) electrical output, since this (relatively expensive) panel can now absorb several times more
sunlight, from (a relatively extremely cheap) piece(s) of glued down, aluminium foil.
Thanks everybody for the comments, I’m installing solar panels sometime soon.
Using less power is a much better alternative.Do you really need 2000watts to burn a piece a bread or nuke a can of
Not in a world with about 5 billion people aspiring for Western living standards (or even about one quarter as much). Besides I
always believe the way of the past is less consumption, and the way of the future is more. The only challenge is cost effective, sustainable
consumption, and that’s not a challenge (talented) engineers are afraid of (even if certain companies & the politicians they finance, are
edit on 090705 by Liberal1984 because: (no reason given)