MIT researchers find new way of arranging solar photovoltaic cells
A team of MIT researchers has come up with a very different approach to arranging solar photovoltaic cells: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. The results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area. While most research around the world has focused on improving the performance of the cells and bringing down their cost, very little attention has been paid to the best ways of arranging those cells, which are typically placed flat on a rooftop or other surface, or sometimes attached to motorized structures that keep the cells pointed toward the sun. The researchers new findings are based on both computer modeling and outdoor testing of real modules. The biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudier days.