Solar power harnessing technologies need to get better, but we also need to do something with older panels, which will be not so efficient a few years from now.
That’s why Genie Lens Technologies, a company from Englewood, CO, has developed the easiest solution yet: a sticker that applied to the solar cell, will direct the incoming light onto the light-sensitive surface, greatly reducing reflections and improving the efficiency.
The numbers are pretty impressive, at a first glance: a 10 percent improvement in power output. For that matter, the lens features microscopic structures specially thought by using several algorithms that model how light enters the film and encounters various surfaces within the solar cell: protective glass cover, semiconductor, and the back surface of the cell. By optimally bending the light, these surfaces will have minimized their reflective properties.
A power output higher by 4 to 12 percent is envisioned by applying the magic sticker (NREL tests confirmed this), and at the same time a raise in costs of about 1 to 10 percent, but these numbers mean that the anti-reflexive surface will pay off eventually. The only issue is that it has to pay off and last for the entire lifetime of the solar cell, which often goes up to 25 years.
Seth Weiss, CEO and cofounder of Genie Lens, says the films will last for more than 20 years, but only time will tell if he’s right.