Honest, it started out as just a small project to see to what extent I could integrate renewable energy sources into my house. Tonight the kick-off meeting for mass production of a new solar panel design will take place.
But I'm also going to share all the design details here. Perhaps it will inspire someone else. In any case the idea is passed on. Which is important to me. We're already late to the party as mankind in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and nuclear.
Solar panels are cheaper than ever. But they can be made even cheaper.
Current solar panels basically consist of 3 main components:
1. Photovoltaic film with conducting strips.
2. PET plastic (same material as plastic bottles) carrier 3-4mm thick.
3. Aluminium frame.
The first cost reduction can be made by replacing the PET carrier and the aluminium frame by using a hollow transparent polycarbonate plate (see image below). The plate offers similar strength at a lighter weight.
Since the plate is hollow it also allows for cooling. By feeding rainwater through the plate the panel can be cooled to increase efficiency.
Using this solution solar panels can be produced at a lower price, higher efficiency with water heating integrated.
Now on with the tedious task of the technical drawings.