Thin-film solar plates
Companies began to research and develop plates of other types of materials to reduce production costs and avoid a possible shortage of silicon. Then, thin-film solar panels with silicon were created but with a significant reduction of costs using other elements. Thanks to modern processes it was possible to build groups in ultra-thin layers using less raw material and considerably reducing prices.
After achieving the production of thin-film solar panels, the output of flexible cells was also made, opening the possibilities that rigidity did not previously allow. These cells are used in clothes, umbrellas, backpacks, etc. They do mainly use for charging small appliances, which is why their use is more commercial and personal than other types of cells or panels.
Panels with transparent layers
Recently, it began with the manufacture and implementation of windows with thin semi-transparent layers. It is a valid alternative to be included in the large buildings next to be built. With these cells, you can replace the polarized glass and use the energy absorbed by the panels to support the air conditioning and lift of the buildings.
The organic cells were created to be woven in the clothes, to be able to load telecommunication devices or the like. The most pretended is the Gratzel cell, which is composed of a pure material similar to photosynthesis and with very promising characteristics. They are currently preparing for first industrial production. Thanks to its simple elements, it is expected that there will be a reduction of essential costs. They also have the advantage that efficiency increases at higher temperatures.
The concentration of light with an optical system to increase the relatively low efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels and reduce costs is a reality. Although it was possible to improve the energy in the installed systems, it brought as a consequence the need to orient them precisely towards the sun and the control of the high temperature generated, which needs a highly sophisticated system and with very high and expensive maintenance.