Solar stickersPosted: May 14, 2008
The disadvantage of the low-profile design is a trade-off in efficiency. As yesterday’s post on the solar lilies showed, a panel needs to be able to follow the path of the sun through the sky during a day if it is to collect the maximum amount of solar energy. The panels discussed here are stationary – lying flat along the unchanging roof-line – and the resulting drop in efficiency is fairly substantial (somewhere in the order of 5%).
Still, the design of the collection elements in solar panels is also the subject of improvement; I imagine it wont be long before this limitation is removed by advances in panel design.
Bonus article linked at the bottom of the Treehugger page: Hairy Solar Cells created from nanotubes. Nice!