Reflecting Rays: OptiMax Wave
Companies: Hanwha Solar/tenKsolar
Availability: Now in the U.S.
To squeeze more energy from solar panels, Korea’s Hanwha Solar will sell a system with unique solar-cell wiring and low-cost reflectors. The OptiMax Wave, made by tenKsolar of Minnesota, can boost the electricity generated by solar panels on a flat roof by 30 percent. Inside the panels, solar cells are wired in a mesh-like grid, rather than in series, so current from all the panel’s cells isn’t constrained by shaded cells. The mesh setup also means that light bounced onto the solar panels by reflective films can hit unevenly and still boost the panels’ performance. Finally, onboard electronics maximize the cells’ output.