The energy solar, long celebrated as the ecological answer to our planet's energy problems, unfortunately still has several weaknesses. One among all? Its efficiency decreases dramatically in shade. What if we could overcome this obstacle? The American startup Optivolt has announced the development of a technology that can change the photovoltaic landscape, ensuring optimal performance even when the sun plays hide and seek.
A head-to-head challenge
The problem is clear: a shadow that covers only 1% of a traditional solar panel can reduce energy production by 33%. What if the shade increases to 10%? The panel becomes practically useless.
The solution proposed by Optivolt ensures that the entire panel continues to function effectively even when it is partially shaded. As? Don't expect it: "stretching" the shadow across the entire panel and simulating a scenario of direct sunlight, albeit slightly attenuated. The results speak for themselves, according to the startup. Pulse allows you to generate up to 25 times more energy in real shade conditions.
A world of possibilities
Think about the implications of this technology. Optimizing the panels in the shade means increasing energy production on current systems, but also exploiting points where they would not have been installed. This could mean, on a global scale, 261 terawatt hours of additional energy that is not exploited today. Translated into economic terms, this is the equivalent of over 30 billion euros per year from photovoltaics alone.
It is clear that such a technology can also attract the attention of the military sector: a study conducted by Anduril industries, showed that Optivolt's technology can power military devices even in extreme winter conditions. Field tests were carried out by both the US Department of Homeland Security and Ukrainian front-line units, providing essential energy where traditional solar panels were not up to the task. And now, after this necessary and sad informative interlude, we return to the field we prefer: that of civil applications.
Coming out of the shadows
With home installations scheduled to begin in 2024, Optivolt is preparing to bring a small earthquake to the world of solar energy. Or at least to guide it: other solar innovations will arrive soon. Other companies like Singaporean Solar AI, for example, offer solar panels for rent to make renewable energy accessible to all. Still others like the American one Terabase Energy they are focusing on the production mechanisms of the plants, to make them faster and make them more economical and recyclable.
It will be essential to take advantage of every ray of sunshine. We cannot afford any shadow on our future.