Current solar panels work best when sunlight hits them at a certain angle. Now, engineers from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia and Taiwan’s National Central University have reported that they have developed a a glass coating which they say enables panels to absorb sunlight from multiple angles, significantly boosting the cell’s overall efficiency.
The coating is a fused-silica packaging glass with a hierarchical structure of small, ultrathin nanorods and larger honeycomb-shaped nanowalls integrated into the material. The nanorods, combined with the efficient scattering ability of the nanowalls, enhance the efficiency at particular angles of light between 5.2% and 27.7%, depending on the angle. This can result in an efficiency enhancement of up to 46% during long-term use
The glass coating also repels dust and pollution – maintaining 98.8% percent of its efficiency after six weeks of outdoor testing.