Concentrated Photovoltaic And Thermoelectric

Concentrated Photovoltaic And Thermoelectric Image
Renewable energy is a growing business and cities all over the world are taking advantage of its endless power production. However, to make it truly useful, most devices that utilize the power sources of renewable energy need to be build in bulk. Wind and solar panel farms provide excellent quantities of electricity, but are built to such a size that they're impractical for home-use. Home-applicable products are available for home use, albeit less productive and quite costly, but are growing more technologically advanced everyday. To see what improvements are being made, let's look into the new advancements in solar power.


Thermoelectric technology refers to the ability to convert a difference in two differing materials' temperatures into electricity. The electrical current produced can be put towards a good use and the method used to make this provides a brilliant efficiency boost to existing solar panel setups.

Solar panels traditional work by utilizing the flow of protons sinking into the semiconductor silicon material. They cause the electrons to flow through the panel to make a current that can then be harnessed. The flow usually goes from the front to the back of the panel, due to them being negative electrons.

A lot of the energy is wasted, however, as it is primarily heat from being under the sun's rays. By employing thermoelectric technology in conjunction with solar panels, additional efficiency is gained. For any home-owner looking for the sun's power to incorporate into their home, making the most of the energy provided is an excellent step forward.

Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV)

Otherwise known as CPV, this form of the sun's power technology works in a similar manner to traditional solar panels. Instead of simply catching the sunlight on a panel, the light is concentrated onto a smaller area to provide a stronger electrical current and more electricity. The surface area needed to catch the light is smaller and more electricity is produced, meaning the overall cost is also reduced.

Furthermore, the concentration of light means smaller panels are used, which in turn reduces the cost of such a device. This makes it especially applicable for home use, where space is a concern, as is money. With smaller devices, less materials are needed, making the whole scheme much cheaper on the whole.

Credit: [Javier Laffey]