Residential solar is on the rise.
According to the latest report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), residential solar had its best quarter ever in Q2 2022, with 1.36 GWdc installed. That means that nearly 180,000 residential customers selected solar in a single quarter.
With solar installation becoming more common in homes across the United States, keeping an eye on emerging trends is more important than ever before.
Here are three technologies to watch in the coming year.
These semiconductor cells, an alternative to silicon, have come a long way in the past decade.
Perovskite cells have always boasted transparency and flexibility, but researchers have long sought to improve their stability and efficiency. An international team led by the City University of Hong Kong recently achieved just that by adding a ferrocene-based compound, which boosted the cells’ efficiency by 25%. They found they “could run [the cells] under continuous light illumination for more than 1,500 hours and still maintain over 98% of their initial efficiency.”
In June 2022, a team of Princeton Engineering researchers modified the notoriously fragile cells to give them the 30-year lifetime needed for commercial viability—a 5x improvement over the previous record. The team used an accelerated aging process to test their durability.
While not yet a household name, look for continued developments in Perovskite cells in 2023. Once they are readily available to solar installers, they could provide a cost-effective and versatile option for consumers.
Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
Solar technology incorporated into building materials seems futuristic—but it’s here right now and will become more popular in the years to come.
Grand View Research, a market research firm, predicts that the global BIPV market size will reach $88.38 billion by 2030—up from an estimated $10.3 billion in 2020.
BIPV solar installations use PV glazing on elements like roofs, windows, or railings for electricity generation. It blends seamlessly into structural or architectural surfaces, eliminating consumers’ concerns about aesthetics.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and Building Technologies Office (BT) released a Request for Information on BIPV in April 2022. The DOE has also hosted a series of workshops in 2022, designed to spark conversation about and next steps for bringing this technology to the forefront.
Watch for BIPV’s visibility and reach rise in 2023, both in commercial and residential installations.
Software for installation and O&M management
The rise of solar means that installation and operations & maintenance (O&M) crews are busy. Increasingly, they’re looking to save time on job sites by streamlining administrative, data collection, and organizational tasks.
Instead of hiring more staff, many companies are turning to tech as a way to save time and money.
Cloud-based software designed specifically for solar and property management, such as SiteCapture, lets field technicians conduct site surveys by starting with ready-made templates that are easily customizable. Plus, they can take high-resolution, GPS-tagged photos and upload them alongside other relevant data in an easy-to-understand, instantly organized way.
All information gathered in the field by technicians can then sync instantly with the web app, so management can see progress and potential issues in real time.
The full potential of solar-specific technology
As commercial and residential consumers increasingly choose solar as their top energy source in the coming years, solar research and development will be in full swing.
Installation and O&M companies are expected to experience tremendous growth as the world embraces new solar technologies.
Ready for a demo to see how SiteCapture save time for your company in 2023 and beyond? Get started today.