The solar industry is rapidly growing. And as a result of this expansion, renewable energy is beginning to eclipse fossil fuel as a source of energy. “A part of the mission of the PosiGen team, which we call The Four Pillars of PosiGen, is to Save the Environment,” says PosiGen CEO, Thomas Neyhart. However, solar energy has some infamous flaws. So, while we strive to boost energy efficiency, we also aim to solve some of these flaws.
The PosiGen CEO’s Solution for Sunlight Absence
Solar Energy has one known flaw: In the absence of sunlight, it doesn’t generate electricity. This means solar energy will not be readily available at night or when it’s cloudy. But what if there was a solution to solar power’s sun problem? The PosiGen CEO has been following some researchers who have come up with a number of proposed solutions that can make it happen.
1. The “antisolar panel.”
The antisolar panel is a scientifically sound method of generating power during the night. Rather than using the sun’s warm light, this alternative generates energy from the cold of space. The concept is that if you point the panel at space in the evening, it will be heated relative to the cold of space, causing it to emit heat as infrared light. The infrared light may then be captured and used to create power. PosiGen CEO also noted that notable scholars have said this method works. Still, it won’t produce as much energy as solar panels produce when exposed to the sun.”
2. Building bigger batteries
When all else fails, there’s a tried-and-true solution for the fact that solar panels don’t generate electricity at night. The idea is to be able to store as much excess energy as possible in batteries. Several large companies have adopted this method on a larger scale. A clear example is the microgrids Tesla has built around the world.
PosiGen CEO on a Solution for Soiled Solar Panels
The accumulation of dust, soot, or other particulates causes a drop in the efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) panel. The result is a decline in the amount of power produced, unlike the windshield of a car, which can wipe off layers of dust and pollen easily with a turn of the lever that activates wipers and water. Cleaning the coating from a solar panel – particularly one that is inconveniently placed at a distance from any source of moisture.
In some regions of the United States, yearly energy loss from soiling might be as high as 7%. And even though rain and wind can be adequate to clear dust because PV panels cool down at night and attract morning dew, the particles on the panel go through a process called Cementation. It can become considerably more challenging to remove once it has gone through the cementation process. It solidifies to the point that even a powerful rain won’t be able to remove it.
The solution for soiling on solar panels, according to PosiGen CEO, may need several different challenges. The team at PosiGen has been following recent studies aimed at making soiling easier to address. Some issues are general and have possible solutions. An example is a coating over the surface of solar panels. This strategy is beneficial in places with high precipitation; a hydrophobic coating is used to repel water. However, on soiling by location, there is just a small amount of information available. But agencies like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are gathering data that would help provide resources for soiling by location.
So far, several new technologies have been brought forward as possible solutions to measuring the amount of soiling on the panel. The idea is to be able to predict how much soiling is going on and how often panels need to be cleaned. That way, on a large scale, the cost of cleaning will be reduced, and the efficiency of the PV panels will increase.
What about Reliable Energy Storage?
Batteries are the primary storage medium for solar energy. But getting reliable batteries to properly store Solar Energy has been a challenge. Many experts in the industry, including PosiGen CEO, are trying to solve it. In this sense, the creation of lithium-ion batteries has been a great success. These batteries have proven to be efficient for medium-scale applications. They have also been adopted in the automobile industry and are being used in electric car batteries.
However, storing solar energy from large commercial farms demands a warehouse full of huge batteries. The issue is the bigger the battery gets, the less useful it becomes. The storage at this level could also increase the dangers that surround storing energy for a longer time. So the question is, how do you store large amounts of solar energy?
Some alternative ways to solve these problems are being explored, says PosiGen CEO. The potential solutions that we think are promising include:
Mechanical Ways to Store Energy
Aside from batteries, there are a variety of mechanical methods for storing surplus energy. One widely used way is pumping water from any ground to an elevated lake and then using its potential energy for diverse uses. This system may also be used to generate electricity. Compressing air is an alternative technique to store energy mechanically.
Compressed air is frequently utilized across the world for valve control systems, particularly in large enterprises. In this situation, you may put your excess to good use by compressing the air and then using it to generate electricity.
An underground thermal energy storage system
What makes this option particularly efficient is the fact that it is good enough for storing energy between seasons. Unlike other alternative mechanic methods mentioned above, solar panels use all the excess energy in heating gravels or water stored underground in this system. This is possible because the temperature doesn’t change at a certain depth, resulting in natural insulation. This way, heat can be stored for months and delivered through heat pumps.
The setbacks that come with utilizing this system are that it may be expensive to build and require a lot of space. Natural losses would occur while transferring the heat from one place to another.
Lead-Acid Batteries Model
Lead-acid batteries are commonly used as solar storage devices. These batteries can readily store extra energy produced by a PV solar system. They are particularly useful since they are readily available anywhere globally. Their initial cost is also relatively cheap, especially when compared to other possible solutions.
PosiGen has a diverse and inclusive team. Over 65% of our team members are persons of color and/or female aiming to provide affordable Solar Energy and boost Energy Efficiency. So we follow the most recent trends in our industry to deliver superior services to our customers.