This New Tech Can Rejuvenate And Extend The Life Of Old Solar Panels

In the dynamic field of renewable energy, a revolutionary spark has emerged from the labs of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). EtaVolt, a dynamic spin-off, is turning heads with its ingenious device that promises to be the elixir for aging photovoltaic (PV) panels.

In the relentless battle against time and harsh environmental conditions, solar panels globally face an efficiency slump shortly after installation, a challenge exacerbated in tropical regions like Singapore. EtaVolt’s technological marvel confronts this hurdle head-on, demonstrating a remarkable success rate of around 90% on existing PV panels worldwide. The significance of this breakthrough cannot be overstated, especially considering the estimated USD 2 billion global energy loss within the 1-terawatt solar power capacity.

Traditionally, maintaining solar panels involved costly measures such as cleaning or module replacements. Enter EtaVolt’s Advanced Regeneration Technology, a cost-effective remedy for over 90% of silicon solar cells, irrespective of composition complexities. Dr. Stanley Wang, Co-founder of EtaVolt, asserts, “Our solar rejuvenation method has not only been rigorously tested and validated but has shown field-proven results in various commercial applications.”

The technology operates like a wizard’s wand, applying precise temperature and intense light to excite material molecules within the solar cells. This molecular dance leads to a restructuring that repairs light and heat damage, akin to patching holes in a bucket, thereby preventing energy leakage. The result is an optimized light energy collection that extends the panel’s operational life. The device’s automated traversal over panels up to 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) efficiently treats and recovers up to 5% of lost field performance in under five minutes.

Dr. Wang proudly notes, “The technology has been successfully implemented in projects with major partners in the solar industry, such as renewable energy solutions firm Vector Green, demonstrating its effectiveness and potential for widespread adoption.” With up to five years of protection, adaptable for both indoor and outdoor solar farms, EtaVolt’s invention emerges as a game-changer in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.

Established in 2019 by visionaries Dr. Wang and Dr. Andy So, EtaVolt goes beyond rejuvenation; it embraces a holistic approach to sustainability. Through full automation, the company rejuvenates solar panels and smartly recycles them, recovering valuable materials like silicon for a greener, circular economy.

Incubated by EcoLabs Centre of Innovation for Energy, EtaVolt aligns with Singapore’s commitment to pioneering deep-tech energy innovation for a brighter, more sustainable future.

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