[FOCUS] Hanwha Q Cells to develop vertical solar modules for transparent soundproof walls

[Courtesy of Korea Energy Agency]

SEOUL — Traditional solar panels are installed horizontally at an optimal angle to maximize their light exposure. Researchers are racing to develop new clean energy-generating devices such as a window-like system, bifacial solar panels, and transparent modules that can be applied to windows and soundproof walls.

Vertical solar panels can be used in a wide range of applications as they take up less space than traditional solar panels. Hanwha Q Cells, the solar cell manufacturing wing of South Korea’s Hanwha Group, will develop technology capable of blocking noise and generating solar power by manufacturing high-power, high-durability vertical solar modules for soundproof walls widely applied to South Korean roads and railways.

Hanwha Q Cells signed a cooperation agreement with Korea East-West Power (EWP), a state-owned power generation company, on September 22 to develop and market vertical solar modules for soundproof walls, roof-integrated modules and solar modules. farms with excellent power generation performance, fire resistance and durability. They will explore ways to develop ICT-based system monitoring, analysis and control technologies.

The two companies believe their cooperation is meaningful as they can expand solar power generation and minimize environmental damage by utilizing unused sites such as roads and railways.

“Solar power plants located on unused sites that can make efficient use of the national territory and are highly receptive are a very effective way to achieve the transition to renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions,” said Kim Eun-sik, manager. of Hanwha Q Cells’ Asia manufacturing division, said in a statement. “We will take the lead in expanding renewable energy supply.”

Solar energy installations created by the reversal of ecologically sensitive sites and agricultural lands have been a factor that hinders the social acceptance of renewable energies. According to the Korea Energy Agency, a government agency in charge of energy policies, unused areas along highways, railways, abandoned roads and soundproof tunnels have a solar power generation potential of about 975 megawatts, which can be used by 1.38 million people for household electricity. per year.

In South Korea, transparent sound absorbing screens using clear acrylic glass have been favored. Data from the Ministry of the Environment showed that the length of soundproof walls installed across the country amounted to more than 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles), with those installed on highways accounting for more than 60%, which raises concerns about the death of birds due to collisions.


[Courtesy of the Ministry of Environment]

Government agencies have called for various measures to prevent birds from crashing into transparent windows and soundproof road screens by requiring contractors to apply anti-collision strips, tiny dots or evenly spaced patterns that birds can recognize . Environmental groups and wildlife activists suggest that solar panels attached to transparent windows or soundproof walls may be an option to prevent bird deaths.

Researchers have demonstrated methods for growing rice and ensuring the free movement of agricultural machinery under solar panels. A consortium involving Hanwha Q Cells is involved in a state project to develop a solar power system that would be used to grow crops and generate electricity simultaneously without loss of crop yield and power generation . Hanwha Q Cells will develop solar modules that will generate solar power approximately 3.5 meters above farmland.

“Solar power generation is an important source of energy in energy conversion, and it is very important to develop various photovoltaic technologies that do not harm the environment,” said EWP CEO, Kim Yung-moon, promising active cooperation with industry, academia and research. institutes to develop and commercialize advanced environmentally friendly solar energy technologies.

Kim’s company works with research organizations to develop new technologies such as silicon perovskite tandem solar cells, film-like translucent perovskite solar cells, and fence-like solar cells.

To secure a technological advantage over its foreign competitors, particularly in China, South Korea is actively pushing for the commercialization of new solar cell modules. A consortium led by Hanwha Q Cells is involved in the development of perovskite crystalline silicon cells using tandem cell technology that builds perovskite on silicon solar cells.

A perovskite solar cell includes a compound with a perovskite structure as an active light-collecting layer. Perovskite solar cells allow ultra-thin films to absorb the entire visible solar spectrum, leading to the creation of inexpensive, efficient, thin and flexible modules. Unlike silicon solar cells, which have limited installation locations, perovskite solar cells can be installed on the exterior walls of buildings or on the sunroof of vehicles.

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