US funds $2.1m for Panasonic solar project

The US is funding $2.1 million (£1.34m) to develop a technology which will make solar systems more efficient. Japanese technological company Panasonic is receiving the cash from the Department of […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The US is funding $2.1 million (£1.34m) to develop a technology which will make solar systems more efficient.

Japanese technological company Panasonic is receiving the cash from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

The project aims to lower the cost of solar systems, improve their performance and help reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Solar panels must directly face the sun and are currently installed on an expensive tracking system that requires a lot of space, stated the firm.

It added it is developing a “microtracking” subsystem to be mounted on the panels to allow individual lenses to always focus direct sunlight onto the solar cells.

The technology is expected deliver high efficiency concentrated solar panels.

Xinbing Liu, lead researcher on the solar system at Panasonic Boston Laboratory said: “Our groundbreaking project aims to expand the use of concentrated solar photovoltaics to urban areas and rooftops, giving many more people, businesses and communities access to this innovative form of clean, renewable solar energy.

“This project is compelling because the efficiency of concentrated solar photovoltaic technology is double that of most conventional solar panels used today.”