Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore) and startup EtaVolt have developed a high intensity illumination device that can reportedly “rejuvenate” solar panels and reduce their degradation.
Called Advanced Regeneration Technology, the new technique consists of applying intense light and controlled temperature on the solar cells to excite the polysilicon molecules and make them move quickly. This reportedly changed their arrangement and “patches up” the holes caused by light, heat and humidity.
“The process is akin to patching holes in a bucket; it repairs solar panels to prevent energy leakage, ensuring optimal light energy collection,” the scientists said, noting that the process is implemented via a high intensity illumination device that can roll itself over the photovoltaic modules. “The process takes less than five minutes and can help treated solar panels recover up to 5% of their lost field performance.”
The research group claims that this process may reduce module degradation by up to 5 years, depending on the cell technology.
The device may also be used on-site in either rooftop PV systems or ground-mounted PV plants and may be applied to around 90% of the solar modules available in the market.
According to EtaVolt's website, the new regeneration technology is based on a proprietary combination of illumination, temperature, and regeneration time. It can also reportedly provide light-induced degradation (LID) mitigation and recovery.
“Our solar rejuvenation method has not only been rigorously tested and validated but has shown field-proven results in various commercial applications. The technology has been successfully implemented in projects with major partners in the solar industry, such as renewable energy solutions firm Vector Green, demonstrating its effectiveness and potential for widespread adoption,” said NTU Singapore researcher Stanley Wang.
The research team did not reveal more technical details about the device. “These technologies developed at NTU have been patented through NTUitive, the University’s innovation and enterprise company and are licensed to EtaVolt,” it stated.
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