Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs in 2020

Get Surfshark VPN at https://surfshark.deals/undecided and enter promo code UNDECIDED for 85% off and 3 extra months for free! Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs in 2020. The past year has had some really interesting advancements with perovskite and multijunction solar cells, which are going to have a big impact. Plus, what if I told you it might be possible to harvest power from shadows?

▻ Watch “How carbon nanotubes might boost solar energy – explained”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnZpaunXhGc&list=PLnTSM-ORSgi4FZfrLx9Mmk5qjQJtesZbK&index=2&t=0s

▻ Full script and citations: https://undecidedmf.com/episodes/2020/7/23/exploring-solar-panel-efficiency-breakthroughs-in-2020



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  1. Curtis Scott on July 29, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    "1.2 volts which is enough energy to…" BZZZZ. Wrong. VOLTAGE is NOT a unit of "Energy". WATTS is a unit of ENERGY. Words mean things. Terms matter. And: Shadows do NOT produce energy. Shadows produce a DIFFERENTIAL (in the same way the colder side of a thermocouple is necessary) which may allow energy to flow from a SOURCE, but in themselves do NOT produce energy.

  2. madseh de on July 29, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Shaded solar panels still produce ~10% of their rated power.

  3. DumbledoreMcCracken on July 29, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Voltage is not power if the impedance is high

  4. mayaknife on July 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Perovskite is a naturally occurring mineral. We’ve even found it on Mars. So I’m not sure what you mean when you say, "Since they’re made from a man-made compound, manufacturing costs should be a lot lower." Yes, we can make perovskite from raw materials, rather than mining it, but the same is true for silicon crystals.

  5. steven cook on July 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    yes i am waiting for these breakthroughs which is why i love how you keep us informed

  6. Arya Pourtabatabaie on July 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    I’d stick to silicone. What’s holding back renewables is battery technology anyway, not solar panel efficiency.

  7. Daniel Jones on July 29, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    My question is, does higher efficiency really matter? Obviously for space applications it does, but for the avg home?

    Most single family homes have more roof space than needed already. In fact, l would take lower price over efficiency, because I have roof space for more panels. Inner city might need them, where roof space is limited. But not for everyone.

    I’m actually in the process of pricing out more solar for my house right now. Efficiency doesn’t really matter, just $ per watt, warranty, where it is built. Efficiency is at the bottom of my list. Does that make sense?

    Good video though!

  8. West on July 29, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Awesome video 👍

  9. Giesbert Nijhuis on July 29, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Great video, until the Surfshark advertisement, what a downer, as is asking for comments and such. Thanking your patreons is fine. I know why you do it, but I often give no thumbs up if there is advertisement.

  10. Bruce John Shourt on July 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Great report. “…very unique…” No.

  11. karlInSanDiego on July 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Matt, can you leave some links for where you determined the lifecycle of mono and poly crystalline solar? You’ve given numbers that are more consistent with actual WARRANTIES of solar sold 10 years ago. Current warranties are between 25 and 30 years, and modules last much much longer. The truth is we don’t know how long modules will continue to put out power. Just as lithium battery life cycles are a more complex story than to publish a number as if it’s the time of death, it’s my understanding that solar panels degrade very slowly in efficiency (.8% per year), but are in no way rendered no longer functional at the 25-30 or 23-27 year marks.

  12. Lone Wolf on July 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Most panels you buy today are just for fad

  13. SriKrishna1992 on July 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    In NREL website, its mentioned efficiency of a cell is close to 48%. Why is it not ready for manufacturing?

  14. C Z on July 29, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Shadow energy…the Dark Side of the force haha

  15. Bernard Garrett on July 29, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    No ads please

  16. OldGamerNoob on July 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    I wonder if you ran the light through a prism to split it into colors that could be directed into different panels tuned for different wavelengths, if you could get a worthwhile improvement on efficiency…

  17. Lewis Doherty on July 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Thinking about the glass windows on large commercial buildings, a film should be able to be applied to capture photons in the non-visible range. Window glass blocks Ultraviolet A anyway, I believe, and it would be desirable to try to block as much of Ultraviolet and infrared.

  18. Andrew Prevost on July 29, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you for doing this. Great work. There’s been a lot of articles this year. Thanks for helping to clear things up. 👍🏼

  19. Shashank Kumar on July 29, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Only it can generate electricity when the two parts have the difference in illumination means that when this condition occur then illuminated part gives electricity to the shady part via load. It means the shaded part will consume power and will heat up.

  20. Skyler Holman on July 29, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    I’d much much rather have higher efficiency, cheaper cells and replace every 10 years than have something last 25 years…because after 10 years it would be better to upgrade to a better technology anyway, given there’s so much improvement in this space I’m coming years. Although, only if the cost difference is similar.

  21. Christoph Wolf on July 29, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    dude, get a better mic

  22. Rick Sanchez on July 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    yin yang, 50% each creates maximum efficiency

  23. nipi tiri on July 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    9:12 Sounds reminisent of a thermoelectric generator

  24. The Info Team on July 29, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    I would love to release a comment, but i’m in the dark !

  25. zodiacfml on July 29, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    9:13 what? isn’t that similar to a Peltier or TEC generator? I know it is using light but the light and shadow could be a difference in temperature 🙄

  26. Mohammed Wissam on July 29, 2020 at 2:32 pm
  27. Mohammed Wissam on July 29, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    This is a link to the article about shadow effect energy.

  28. Abraham Galvez on July 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Great video. I’m going to look at past videos in case you’ve covered it already. But have you seen the research regarding carbon nanotubes with solar panels to absorb the heat in addition to the normal solar energy? I believe it mention some 80% efficiency. Cool stuff.

  29. Hreodbeorht Cheesewright on July 29, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    What is meant by "lifetime" of solar panels? At the end of that 20-25 years, what is one left with? 50% of original capacity? 10%? Or..?

  30. Gardum on July 29, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    My Solar panels keep producing even on a cloudy day, it has to be quite heavy clouds for the panels to stop producing anything.
    Yes they don’t produce full power but they still produce over 1kw on a very cloudy day, I have a 6kw system, I also get back over $2000 a year in solar credits.
    I don’t know what type of system you have that stops producing if you get clouds ?
    Maybe they setup the Solar systems differently in Australia ?

  31. I A Reid on July 29, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    No matter how much the efficiency increases the fundemental problems with solar panels are unchanged. The output peaks at the wrong time of day in most countries, the output is variable according to the weather and in latitudes like the U.K. give very low power in winter when demand is highest (Nothing at all at peak demand periods), it is asynchronous, that is it cannot support grid frequency, it has no inertia and reduces short circuit levels, a characteristic that is needed for the correct operation of grid protective devices. these three characteristics are needed for stable grid operation and solar lacks all thre, as indeed, does wind. Like all renewables it also needs reliable back up plants to keep the lights on.

  32. Peter XYZ on July 29, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    39.2% efficiency?!?!? Sign me up!!!!!!!!

  33. Frank T on July 29, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Why is the limit of efficiency so low? I would have thought it was around 50% by now headed higher. I must not understand the process enough. Thanks for another great video. Stay safe.

  34. Dashawn Haynes on July 29, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    What about solar glass or glass transparent glass I heard about that too can do a video on that

  35. viewer on July 29, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Could Solar Panels be Cleaned with Specially Adapted Drones ?

  36. James Lobosco on July 29, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    30% or greater and I am all in.

  37. Trv Kim on July 29, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Your content is extremely useful…keep up the good job💯

  38. epSos.de on July 29, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Energy creates wealth on our planet. ( machines, mobility, cheap products, etc… )
    Cheap Solar power is going to create a lot of wealth for humanity.

  39. Carl Thompson on July 29, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    You always have good stuff. Did you go with LG panels for their efficiency? How do they stack up to Tesla panels? Tesla roof tiles?

  40. Jorge Vidal on July 29, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Producing energy from cold

  41. J Smith on July 29, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Efficiency doubled over 60 years. That’s about 1% improvement per year.

  42. DumbledoreMcCracken on July 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Space based applications are 80% efficient

  43. Steven Gulie on July 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    A formulation that includes titanium and lead has no future commercially.

  44. pjmoran42 on July 29, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    23% saved you the time.

  45. Al Savery on July 29, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Thermocouple – generating electricity through a temperature differential. So, would you call the device photocouple (for generating electricity through a light differential)?

  46. CLINTON JONES on July 29, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    as a kid (1950s) I used a mixing bowl (stainless steel) and glass magnifying glasses on a lazy susan
    filled with distilled water and several misting nozzles (brass) around the center layer
    I used silicone glue and plaster of Paris to keep the distance ‘perfect’ for maximum heat (I imagined ‘super-heated’ steam, laser-plasma (electrolysis of the ‘dipole’ ) polyethylene glycol nano-bubbles into a blimp football shape)
    later I mixed in magnesium and aluminum powder with copper and aluminum wire and connected a car battery with a small load …
    …I imagined a dome-shaped house with saltwater moat and panes of a window that changed color
    …all this from the age of 12 to 18 …then girls and sports became the important thing

  47. SiXiam on July 29, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Thought you were going to talk about the Aaswath Raman, night solar panel, that uses the cold night sky to make energy.

  48. Ty Roberts on July 29, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Don’t silicon solar panels need arsenic? I’d much rather swallow lead than arsenic.

  49. Diyan Dimitrov on July 29, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    A complete bullshit propaganda.
    Mother Nature has produced on Earth only 14% efficiency in 4 billion years of evolution of photosynthesys. Who thinks he can take on Mother Nature?!

  50. Dan on July 29, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    When I had my 18 Sanyo solar panels installed almost 10 years ago, they were rated at 215w per panel and cost more because they generated more power on cloudy days than most other panels. With the increased power of the newer panels, I almost want to upgrade since I have a hungry Tesla to feed.

    I’m kind of surprised you didn’t mention the efficiency of the panels that NASA uses, I think they’re around 30-40%. But they are way out of a consumers price point.

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