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Thread: Putting a Magnifying Glass on Solar Panels?

  1. #1

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    Default Putting a Magnifying Glass on Solar Panels?

    Could you put some type of magnifying glass and set it at the right distance to increase the heat of the sun and giving you more energy production from the solar panels?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Putting a Magnifying Glass on Solar Panels?

    I don't believe it actually increases the power of the sun, it intensives it and focuses on one small spot. Also if it gets to hot, you could possibly damage the solar panels.

  3. #3
    Solar Skipper
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    Default Cheaper Solar Concentrators

    Quote Originally Posted by WiseWizard View Post
    I don't believe it actually increases the power of the sun, it intensives it and focuses on one small spot. Also if it gets to hot, you could possibly damage the solar panels.

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    Adding heat to PV or electric solar panels serves no purpose. Heat weakens the output of solar PV Panels. Now if you are trying to heat something that is different. Optical Magnification can be up to 20 times more heat. A simple expample is take a black pipe and a white pipe (PV) get a temp gun. Check the temp. of both in the shade. Now expose them to the sun and test again with the temp gun after a hour or two. The black one is twice as hot. The color back absorbs more heat. White is reflecting the heat. Now optically magnify both. You will find that the black PV is 20 times hotter. We are in the process of deveoping a special motor that uses heat as a fuel. Nothing like a sterling motor. A 20 HP motor that is less than 30 pounds. 8,000 RPM and 420 pounds of torque.

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    Default Guiding light with high precision optic


    It's said as Guiding light with high precision optic.
    Feb.20,2009 Technology Review: A Cheaper Solar Concentrator
    http://beta.technologyreview.com/energy/22204/

  6. #6
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    This works great using a lens to increase the heat on a thermal solar system. On solar panels it is not so good unless the heat could be dispersed. Heat makes a solar cell reduce the power output of a solar cell. We call this type of system a solar concentrator. Heat is pure energy. The solar thermal systems have been around a long time. Solar hot water heaters are very old and work. The only problem that I see with solar thermal systems is the use of diststilled water. There is a large site in Arizona that uses the solar heat system. It is in the desert and the heat is used to make steam. The steam inturn is the fuel for a steam turbine. The steam turbine turns a generator. This is how it works. Now for the problem. Water is trucked to the site. The cost of the water is 50 cents a gallon. Now this type of solar generator needs water as its fuel. Why not just install solar PV? Again no moving parts like solar heating to make electric power. The actual effiency rating on a solar steam generator is 12%. There is too much energy loss to make it profitable. Although it has been proven the that the cost of a watt is just under 72 cents. Once the solar heating system is up and working it takes 12 to 14 years for the ROI. The solar PV is only 5 years on big solar PV sites. I also want to express that a coal fired plant cost twice as much per watt as a solar PV system. Out of a long ton of coal you only get 12 KW. All the rest is carbon. Today a long ton of coal cost almost $120.00. The amount of energy it takes to produce the coal and ship it to the power plant is a additional $36.00. Now for the facts. Solar PV is the best solution to polution we have. It does take energy to make a solar panel. This energy is less than 10% the cost of wind generators, .001% the cost of hydro, and it is running even with geo-thermal process. Please note geo-thermal needs again distilled water. Solar PV is not perfect at all. Solar PV today is the best solution for generating electric power. I know solar is the logical solution for on grid applications, net metering and off grid. Solar PV is the only renewable energy that can do all three. Outside of batteries there is a way to store AC electric power. Hydro electric power plants do just that. Solar PV can also but the cost is too expensive. Now two renewable energies can store electric power. Wind and thermal can not. I know there is a huge cost for solar PV. But for off grid applictions solar is the only way to go. In some areas in the United States small wind is also great. But for the most part the sun sines everyday. Why not convert the sun's energy into electric power? It just makes good sense.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASUgrad View Post
    Could you put some type of magnifying glass and set it at the right distance to increase the heat of the sun and giving you more energy production from the solar panels?
    Yes, this can be done, but in reality, the cooling that is required to keep the solar cell functioning, is more complex, than just using a large, un-concentrated cell.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
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  8. #8
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    To answer your question you must first understand when light is focused from large to small you produce heat. This only works with solar thermal. Hot water heater type units and large solar concentrators. magnification of light on a solar PV type panels serves no benefit. Here is the real problem with some solar panels. Reflective silicon. When you reflect light it reduces the amount of photons captured by the solar panel. It seems the entire solar scientific community is working hard to eliminate this problem.

  9. #9
    Aussie Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Grid Solar View Post
    . . . Why not convert the sun's energy into electric power? It just makes good sense.
    Hear hear.

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