Instead, most of the large-scale developments that can benefit from a solar tracking system use active trackers. SunPower says it has some 400 megawatts in service today, and Greentech Media reported that use of the SunPower system “has a clear economic value on levelized cost of energy.”
Jiang and his colleagues say the test of their concept — where efficiency was boosted by 10 percent, according to the university — suggests it could compete with such systems, although they concede they’ll need to refine the materials they use in order to make it cost-effective. There’s also the challenges, faced by every laboratory concept trying to make the move to real-world use, of scaling and manufacturing.
“But eventually,” the university said, “Jiang hopes to see huge industrial solar farms where fields of photovoltaic solar panels shift effortlessly along with the sunflowers that inspired him.”
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