SunShot solar projects among innovations of the year

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Two projects part-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Sunshot Initiative have been listed among the 100 innovations of 2013.

The list of most significant innovations, compiled by R&D Magazine, includes Sandia National Laboratories’ web tool for evaluating glare from solar installations and a cheaper-to-manufacture high efficiency solar cell from TetraSun.

The TetraSun cell, developed with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), permits a higher percentage of sunlight to be converted into energy than conventional crystalline silicon rivals.

The TetraCell, which was funded by the SunShot Incubator programme, is manufactured through a streamlined process from which costly materials are removed, lowering manufacturing costs.

The Sandia Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool allows developers to assess potential glare from solar farms for drivers and pilots, with such an assessment forming part of federal requirements.

It also evaluates energy production to assess optimum siting of panels to minimize glare and maximize generation.