• 13 hours U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 15 hours Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 17 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 18 hours EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 20 hours Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 21 hours Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 3 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 4 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 4 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 4 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 5 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 5 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 5 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 5 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 5 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 5 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 5 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 6 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 6 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 6 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 6 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 6 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 6 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 6 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 7 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 7 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 7 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 7 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
  • 7 days Niger Delta State Looks To Break Free From Oil
  • 7 days Brazilian Conglomerate To Expand Into Renewables
  • 8 days Kurdish Independence Could Spark Civil War
  • 8 days Chevron, Total Waiting In The Wings As Shell Mulls Majnoon Exit
  • 8 days The Capital Of Coal Is Looking For Other Options
Kobe Steel Scandal Could Rattle Nuclear Industry

Kobe Steel Scandal Could Rattle Nuclear Industry

The scandal at Japan’s Kobe…

Aggressive OPEC Pushes Oil Prices Up

Aggressive OPEC Pushes Oil Prices Up

Oil prices are once again…

Solar Energy, Made In The Shade

What if you want to install a solar energy panel on the roof of your home, but that roof isn’t bathed in sunshine all day long?

That’s the problem a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who recently won the school’s annual clean energy competition, say they have solved.

Residential rooftop solar panels can lose up to 30 percent of their potential energy a year if shade from trees or clouds even occasionally blocks direct sunlight. According to research team member Bessma Alarbou, “A small percentage of shading can cause significant losses.”

The problem with conventional solar panels is that if one cell is not performing to its full potential, it drags down the performance of the other cells in the solar array. Current technology adds devices that isolate underperforming cells to prevent this.

But Aljarbou says that effectively subtracts all the potential of the underperforming cells from the panel. The upside is that it keeps them from affecting neighboring cells. The downside is that it reduces the panel’s overall potential for absorbing solar energy.

Related Article: Investing In Solar Power’s “Picks, Pans And Shovels”

The MIT team integrated what’s called a “power-balance circuit” into a solar panel to prevent that loss of potential.

The new circuit balances power between cells that are receiving direct sunlight with those that aren’t, thereby harvesting double the amount of solar energy than traditional solutions can, at a very low cost.

So far, the new circuit has only been tested in the lab, but the team of young researchers has formed a company, United Solar, that will create a prototype that can be manufactured and marketed.

On April 28, their project – with the catchphrase “shade happens” – won both of MIT’s CEP grand prizes: the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clean Energy Prize, worth $100,000, and the NSTAR MIT Clean Energy Prize, worth $125,000.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • mark holscher on June 08 2014 said:
    I love this news! The efficiency of solar panels is usually measured under ideal circumstances, which rarely occur after installation except in ideal locations!!! This type of American Ingenuity always makes me proud! Manufacturing costs may be lower in other parts of the world due to labor cost differentials. They will never be able to hold down the spirit that has made America great from our beginning!Congrats Mr.Alarbo et al! Let me know when i can invest in United Solar! I will be watching for news from them going forward!!!!

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News