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DTACL systems can improve solar energy efficiency

There is a widespread opinion among the energy experts from all around the world how there is an enormous potential of solar energy. But in order for solar energy to fulfill its potential and become dominant source of global energy supply it will need to significantly improve its efficiency.

Traditional solar panel systems have limited effectiveness, as they are only capable of functioning while the angle of the sun to the earth is just right to maximize the amount of harnessed energy.

The recent research from the University of Kansas studied the possible solutions to boost the performance of solar panels. The starting premise of this research was the fact that movable light shelves and the ones with curved surfaces can diffuse sunlight with greater efficiency than traditional fixed, flat systems.

Having this in mind the researchers Mohammed Alshayeb and Afnan Barri came up with the idea what if there were a system that could combine all these methods to enhance the delivery of natural light into buildings throughout the day without the use of mechanical and electrical controls, and unlike existing movable systems.

These new systems are called "Dynamic Thermal-Adaptive Curved Lightshelf (DTACL)" and most recent computer simulations and a field experiment showed that they are able to transfer light inside a building more efficiently than the fixed systems.

In fact, the indoor light intensity of the DTACL systems used in experiment was twice as great as the intensity of a fixed, traditional light shelf.

Associate Professor of Architecture Jae D. Chang said that "the next step is to see the effect of increasing the height of the panel over the roof."


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