Solar Builder

JAN-FEB 2019

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

Issue link: http://digital.solarbuildermag.com/i/1072350

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20 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 9 Stanford researchers working on rooftop PV array that also cools buildings efficiently By SB Staff Challenge You to Dual MODULES NEW IN T oday, solar arrays do one thing: turn sunlight into electricity. But Stanford electrical engineer Shanhui Fan wants to revolution- ize energy-producing rooftop arrays by building a dual-purpose devise that gener- ates electricity while also cooling buildings. "We've built the first device that one day could make energy and save energy, in the same place and at the same time, by con- trolling two very different properties of light," Fan said. The sun-facing layer of the device is nothing new. It's made of the same semi- conductor materials that have long adorned rooftops to convert visible light into elec- tricity. The novelty lies in the device's bot- tom layer, which is based on materials that can beam heat away from the roof and into space through a process known as radiative cooling. In radiative cooling, objects, including our own bodies, shed heat by radiating infrared light. That's the invisible light Shanhui Fan and Wei Li trying to prove the efficacy of a dual-purpose solar panel. Image credit: L.A. Cicero

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