The U.S. government has moved in recent years to prop up the domestic solar industry through generous incentives, but as those subsidies slowly dry up solar producers are working to increase efficiency as a way to cut costs and maintain viability.
Solar startup HyperSolar has introduced a new solar panel that is much more efficient than current modules on the market. The company does not manufacture solar panels, but is focused on making them ultra-efficient through a field of science called photonics, Forbes reports. Like a microchip, HyperSolar's thin magnifying film routes and separates specified light spectrums, ensuring they're exactly where they need to be to make an array more efficient.
The company's executives recently announced the technology has progressed so quickly that its magnifying film can increase photovoltaic efficiency by up to 300 percent - a huge increase from the standard efficiency of current models on the market. The increased efficiency could spur further solar panel installations as costs are nearly halved using the technology. For example, a $30,000 home solar installation could end up costing under $15,000 because of the ultra efficient panels.
HyperSolar's super-efficient panels are a step toward making solar power as inexpensive as dirtier sources of energy like coal and gas. The company is marketing the solar modules to companies and asserts there is widespread interest in them.