Read the press release this case study was adapted from on Sun and Wind Energy’s website.
German innovation group plusAmpere GmbH
As coal, oil and gas-fueled energy continues to impact the environment, the push for a cleaner energy alternative is intensifying. One popular alternative is solar panels. In fact, as just one example, the United States Department of Energy estimates that the entire country’s demand for electricity could be met by allocating just 0.6% of U.S. land to solar panels. That statistic assumes the panels are operating at intermediate efficiency, and so this number could be even smaller if there was a way to increase their energy yields.
Increasing energy yields of photovoltaic (PV) facilities, also known as solar farms, is the exact goal of plusAmpere GmbH. To optimize the cost-to-benefit ratio of PV facilities, the Kaiserslautern, Germany-based company developed a patented reflector and calculation system known as “pA reflect,” which has been shown to increase annual energy yield by 14%.
Thanks in part to intellectual property, which incentivizes, rewards and protects innovators like Germany’s plusAmpere GmbH, the world’s energy supply is becoming cleaner and more efficient.
How It Works:
pA reflect works as a mirror that is placed between solar panels and bounces light to them, effectively increasing the amount of sunlight the panels receive. To accompany the mirrors, pA reflect also has a computational component that can optimize the cost-to-benefit ratio. The algorithm calculates the optimal surface area and the optimal angle of the mirror, as well as the anticipated increase in energy yield.
Although the concept of using reflectors has already been explored to increase energy yield, getting the size, angle and material of the reflector right can be tricky. The pA reflect difference is its state-of-the-art calculation system. The product has successfully completed its pilot phase, and the company soon intends to make pA reflect available internationally. None of this would have been possible without the proper patents and other intellectual property protections. Thanks in part to intellectual property, which incentivizes, rewards and protects innovators like plusAmpere GmbH, the world’s energy supply is becoming cleaner and more efficient.