New Anti-Reflective Coating Could Make Solar Panels More Efficient

by Tim Fulton on December 3, 2008

One of the biggest challenges to making an effective solar system is being able to absorb the sunlight available. Because it’s easier to to absorb sunlight aimed directly at silicon cells, traditional solar set ups have use sun tracking technology or are place where they will get maximum direct exposure.

However, researchers at RPI have created a new anti-reflective coating that allows solar panels to capture sunlight from any direction. This coating have increased light absorption from 67.4% to 96.21% in tests. This is a huge leap, and I’m sure it wont translate into a 96% efficient solar panel (most are about 25% efficient now), but it would mean that they will be at least 50% more efficient at light gathering.

Time will only tell when and if this technology goes into production, but if it does solar energy will only get cheaper.


1 Total Solar Energy December 11, 2008 at 10:13 am

it will be interesting who brings it to market first. I know Nanosolar have just had $300 million investment. Xerocoat in Australia are also close to developing it for the masses as well.

2 Ray-ray December 19, 2008 at 10:21 pm

If Pickens has any money left over, he should throw some of it at this technology. Best bet is the government will hold on to it and you’ll never hear about it again.

3 Bob January 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

This sounds like it might also work on passive solar designed homes. Glass when struck by sunlight at an angle tends to reflect a great deal of it. You can’t turn your house to avoid this (well I have seen houses that spin!) so if this stuff could work on that problem it would be great! It would make passive solar available for all homes with windows. Cool idea!

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