Mirrors To Catch The Sun And Cut Solar Costs
Can mirrors boost solar panel output - and help overcome Trump’s tariffs?
Joshua M. Pearce, January 25, 2018 (The Conversation)
“…[The levelized cost of solar electricity using imported solar panels has dropped] so much that it is lower than electricity from competing sources like coal in most of America…[But the White House just imposed a 30% tariff on solar cell and module imports which] is expected to slow both the deployment of large-scale solar farms in the United States and the rate of American solar job growth (which is 12 times faster than the rest of the economy)…Most engineering efforts to lower solar power costs are aimed at increasing the efficiency of solar PV cells…[but] using mirrors to shine more sun on the panels can significantly crank up their output. The reflectors are placed opposite the solar panels…[and the light] is reflected back toward the solar panels to produce more electricity…[Simulations show] that a maximum increase of 30 percent is achievable…Reflectors are not widely used by solar project developers now, in part because solar panels prices have come down so much. It has been typically cheaper and simpler to add more panels…[But with the] tariffs, the solar industry may want to take a close look at reflectors…” click here for more