AGILE: Optical concentrator for solar panels

Researchers developed a tiny glass pyramid that increases solar panels’ power generation capacity and reduces production costs.

Traditionally, scientists rely on solar tracking to move panels in sync with the Sun as it travels across the sky.  However, installing these systems is costly, which hinders their wide-scale adoption.  To address this problem, a team of researchers developed a device called Axially Graded Index Lens (AGILE) that is 3D printed using polymers and glasses.  The device can concentrate light that falls on it and then direct it to a single point on the panel.  It also has mirrors on its sides so that any light escaping would be returned.  The whole design increases the power generation capacity of solar panels.

With the reduced surface area needed for power generation, the solar panels could become smaller, thus cheaper to produce.

What do you think about this new technology?    

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