San Jose State University researchers developed a prototype power converter for PV panels that captures more than 30 percent more energy than conventional technologies. The project met several milestones, including the production of a demonstration-scale micro integrated converter that utilizes a magnetically coupled architecture to reduce the size, weight, and cost of each converter. To learn more, read “Researchers at San Jose State University Develop Solar Panels that Capture 30% More Energy than Traditional Technologies.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The overall system efficiency increased significantly. Results showed that captured energy spiked by more than 30% in shaded environments.
  • Delta, a power and thermal management solutions company, provided the funding for the research in an effort to advance renewable energy research and talent.
  • “The overarching purpose is to develop new photovoltaic configurations that can extract as much energy as possible, while using low-cost interfacing systems to convert the harvested energy to usable levels,” said Dr. Mohamed Badawy, assistant professor of electrical engineering at SJSU who led the project.

Path to 100% Perspective:

According to the Department of Energy, the capacity factor allows stakeholders to “measure how often a plant is running at maximum power.” These increased efficient findings are a major step forward in creating a more affordable, practical path to 100 percent renewable energy. This 30 percent increase has important implications for the field, especially as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the average capacity factor for PV solar in 2019 was only 24.5 percent.