Alloy Solar Panels
|Alloy Solar Panels
In a scientific breakthrough that has stunned the world, a team of South African scientists has developed a revolutionary new, highly efficient solar power technology that will enable homes to obtain all their electricity from the sun.
This means high electricity bills and frequent power failures could soon be a thing of the past.
The unique South African-developed solar panels will make it possible for houses to become completely self-sufficient for energy supplies.
The panels are able to generate enough energy to run stoves, geysers, lights, TVs, fridges, computers - in short all the mod-cons of the modern house.
The new technology should be available in South Africa within a year and through a special converter, energy can be fed directly into the wiring of existing houses. New powerful storage units will allow energy storage to meet demands even in winter. While direct sunlight is ideal for high-energy generation, other daytime light also generates energy via the panels.
A team of scientists led by University of Johannesburg scientist Professor Vivian Alberts achieved the breakthrough after 10 years of research. The South African technology has now been patented across the world.
The new, highly efficient and cheap alloy solar panel is much more efficient than the costly old silicone solar panels.
These new solar panels consist of a thin layer of a unique metal alloy that converts light into energy. The photo-responsive alloy can operate on virtually all flexible surfaces, which means it could find a host of other applications in the future.
The new panels are approximately five microns thick (a human hair is 20 microns thick) while the older silicon panels are 350 microns thick. The cost of the South African technology is a fraction of the less effective silicone solar panels.
While South African scientists developed and patented the new, super-effective alloy solar panels, other companies have developed new, super-efficient storage batteries and special converters to change the energy into the power source of a particular country (220 volts in South Africa).
One of the world leaders in solar energy, German company IFE Solar Systems, has invested more than R500-million in the South African invention and is set to manufacture 500, 000 of the panels before the end of the year at a new plant in Germany.
Production will start next month and the factory will run 24 hours a day, producing more than 1, 000 panels a day to meet expected demand.
Another large German solar company is negotiating with the South African inventors for rights to the technology, while a South African consortium of businesses are keen to build local factories.