Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs in 2020

Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs in 2020. Get Surfshark VPN at https://surfshark.deals/undecided and enter promo code UNDECIDED for 85% off and 3 extra months for free! The past year has had some really interesting advancements with perovskite and multijunction solar cells, which are going to have a big impact. Plus, what if I told you it might be possible to harvest power from shadows?

▻ Watch Exploring If Tesla Solar Roof Is About To Go Mainstream? – https://youtu.be/Xi_5PqHcKNc

▻ Follow-up podcast episode: https://geni.us/episode29

▻ Full script and citations: https://undecidedmf.com/episodes/2020/7/23/exploring-solar-panel-efficiency-breakthroughs-in-2020



▻ Support us on Patreon!

▻ Check out my podcast – Still To Be Determined:

▻ Tesla and smart home gear I really like:

▻ Undecided Amazon store front:

▻ Fun, nerdy t-shirts
All shirts sold help to support the channel

▻ Great Tesla Accessories
From Abstract Ocean – 15% Discount – Code: “Undecided”

▻ Jeda Wireless phone charger:

▻ Get 1,000 miles of free supercharging with a new Tesla:

PLEASE NOTE: For the Abstract Ocean discount you may have to click on the “cart” button, then “view bag” to enter the coupon code manually. Be sure to enter “undecided” there if you don’t see the discount automatically applied.

All Amazon links are part of their affiliate program.

Thanks so much for your support!

▶ ▶ ▶ GET IN TOUCH ◀ ◀ ◀

▻ Twitter

▻ Instagram
▻ Facebook
▻ Website


▻ Audio file(s) provided by Epidemic Sound

#renewableenergy #solarpanels #exploring #undecidedwithmattferrell


  1. SINGKEW LAW on May 11, 2021 at 12:59 am


  2. Sana Costa on May 11, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Here’s a list that helped me out.
    In the end, I went with #5.


  3. God of the Eternal light. on May 11, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Not good enough to phase out the power companies for home owners.

  4. The Lucky Egg on May 11, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Insolight – Solar panels with record efficiency

    30% is not bad

  5. Joao Gabriel Amado on May 11, 2021 at 1:04 am

    what about SolarCity / Tesla Solar Panels ?

  6. Martin Andersson on May 11, 2021 at 1:05 am

    At around 0:50 you say that the average price of a solar cell is 0.13 USD per watt. Where did you get this from? According to my googling the average price measures in several dollars.

  7. tthams73 on May 11, 2021 at 1:08 am

    The primary ingredients is quartz and burned together in a furnace. I’m guessing you knew that and chose to leave that little morsel of information out!

    You also fail to share how long said panel maintains this efficiencies. The reality is: as soon as the panel begins generating power, the efficiency continually decreases over time.

    I love the idea of solar for off grid and personal use. What drives me crazy is dishonest content like this purposefully misleads and hides the truth!

  8. N The One on May 11, 2021 at 1:09 am

    If the shadow tech is any better than current solar, you can just have a mechanical shade that adjusts to keep the 50% covering and you’ve got a product

  9. hsm_ epic_return on May 11, 2021 at 1:09 am

    The solar panels used in space are nearly 40% efficient.

  10. Natas Diablo on May 11, 2021 at 1:11 am

    Jaykee the Wolf: how come this fellow does not describe those factors limiting the efficiency of regular Si panels??
    Luis: don’t know.
    Jaykee the Wolf: start there. begin by dissipating heat away and keep things a cool 25 oC and see what happens.
    Luis: what if you kept same irradiance Btu/m2 and same temp??
    Jaykee the Wolf: like how many licks it will take to the center of a tootsy roll pop: the world may never know.
    Luis: ..

  11. Mohammed Ftouni on May 11, 2021 at 1:11 am

    It is important to understand the Shockley-Queisser limit is not for a specific material. This limit is for the most optimum junction (a material with the perfect bandgap). Any other single-junction made of a material with a higher or lower bandgap has a less theoretical maximum efficiency. If the bandgap is higher than the optimum value, then the cell will generate higher voltage but it will be harder for photons to excite electrons and give them the energy needed to overcome the bandgap energy barrier. In other words higher voltage but less current and overall less output power. On the other hand, a single junction made of a material with lower bandgap energy would generate more current because now more photons have enough energy to excite electrons. However, it would generate less voltage; because any electron excited to high energy in the conduction band will lose some of its energy to settle lower energy just above the edge of the bandgap. And the energy lost as a phonon (vibration and heat). This settling down happens much faster than the process of extracting the electrons out of the cell. So this time we have less voltage, higher current but still less output power.
    So to overcome the maximum theoretical limit we have to use several junctions. So perovskites are not the solution. but tandems are the solution. whether silicon tandems or perovskites tandems or silicon-perovskites tandems.

  12. AlmightyGTR on May 11, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Hey Matt, did you look into this new breakthrough? /watch?v=82Wi3DK9a9c. Looks interesting, not sure how expensive it is though. Upto 50% efficiency improvement over traditional setup.

  13. Songo on May 11, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Generate electricity from passing shadows? Put that stuff under train tracks asap. Subways and airports …F..anywhere there is high traffic like Time Square. PR wonderland.

  14. New Guy on May 11, 2021 at 1:15 am

    Wow. This video is one of the best wrapups of the various solar cell technologies.

  15. alsmith20000 on May 11, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Not convinced by the shadow stuff.

  16. Steve Scholey on May 11, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Very interesting, some great eye openers.
    Just a point for the planet, we need to be sure we do not pollute our planet after 20+ years of solar planet use.The used plastics and chemicals have to go somewhere. Hopefully recycling/waste is taken into account when developing this improved and interesting technology.

  17. SINGKEW LAW on May 11, 2021 at 1:17 am


  18. id104335409 on May 11, 2021 at 1:17 am

    If you are harvesting power from the difference between light and shadow – Why not just combine that with regular solar panels and put the "shadow" part of the device on the back side of the panels encapsulated in black.

  19. Ray Purchase on May 11, 2021 at 1:19 am

    I’m looking forward to solar paint.
    Imagine painting an entire wall with special paint.
    It might be less efficient than panels, but the area could be enormous.

  20. Mel B on May 11, 2021 at 1:20 am

    We have to make it a goal to massively reduce the acres of solar panel ’farms’ They are ugly and occupy valuable food growing land.

  21. Gomi350z on May 11, 2021 at 1:20 am

    A good use for the shadow panels is roof shingles, shingles on a roof are overlapping. When the panels are played down the light absorbing side of one will cover the shadow side of the one above.

  22. Onedge70 Moparsuperbee on May 11, 2021 at 1:22 am

    Very cool!:)

  23. Jim Vanderveen on May 11, 2021 at 1:23 am

    Take a look at hybrid PV-thermal panels

  24. James LaRoche on May 11, 2021 at 1:23 am

    That was cool how you hinted at the idea of deriving power from shadows at the beginning of the video… my mind instantly started spinning and considering the possible options! I just found this channel and I already love it because of things like this. I’m not even 2 minutes into the video yet… My guess about the power from shadows idea would be that it has something to do with the temperature difference between an area that’s being shaded vs an adjacent area in full sunlight. Like using a large solar shade in Arizona or something to create a sharp temperature gradient and then running some sort of Stirling Engine like device off it? Idk but I’m super interested to find out!

  25. hsm_ epic_return on May 11, 2021 at 1:24 am

    If it has lead in it. No thanks.

  26. Paul Isham on May 11, 2021 at 1:26 am

    Surfshark sucks! No live support…chat room only.

  27. Brian on May 11, 2021 at 1:28 am

    Multijunction is only really for lab bragging rights and space applications. The price isn’t viable for consumers, but that’d be great if the price would come down. And you never mentioned CdTe. It has a streamlined manufacturing process compared to Si, but the scale of Si levels that edge cost-wise. It’s one to watch for sure

  28. Janis Möller on May 11, 2021 at 1:30 am

    Hey Matt, your videos are great: a good combination of informative and fun! Thank you for the great work!
    I think it is worth mentioning that hydrogen has due to the needed high pressurized storage a significantly worse efficacy than todays battery storage. As this is a physical limitation, this will limit hydrogen to specific applications. EVs with a battery will have lower costs per mile than ones powered by fuel cells, because of that.

  29. jason durst on May 11, 2021 at 1:34 am

    don’t led’s make current when exposed to light?

  30. Mr blue Sky on May 11, 2021 at 1:35 am

    This is what I’ve been talking about we must combine not only frequency but vibration ! Meaning different band Frequency ,I just want to know why somebody didn’t somebody think of this before Now ? light is a Wave ! Hello ,Hello , Again!
    Good job don’t stop Shining

  31. Withnail1969 on May 11, 2021 at 1:36 am

    Perovskite is a dead end. It’s been researched for 10 years or more, and it’s come to nothing.

  32. Element Zero on May 11, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Good video

  33. Dr. Robotnik on May 11, 2021 at 1:38 am

    SEG sounds like some sort of optocoupler type of relationship but I definitely don’t claim to understand how the shadow portion generates electricity. Maybe it’s intended to be part of the layered concept to balance how a solar cell efficiency currently drops quickly under partial sun.

  34. zxc hjk on May 11, 2021 at 1:38 am

    The victorious team subjectively haunt because light frequently snore an a wicked ikebana. ajar, gigantic sale

  35. tony tran on May 11, 2021 at 1:39 am

    As a kid I was fearful of the Shadow Man….with this solar energy concept….Hey Shadow Man, where are you?

  36. KevinYSC on May 11, 2021 at 1:39 am

    What about quantum dot technology used for solar cells? Is that going anywhere?

  37. prasad Kadu on May 11, 2021 at 1:40 am

    Future is solar .. soon in 100 years oil n gas will run out .. then its only solar wind n other green ones

  38. D Wnright on May 11, 2021 at 1:41 am

    We had solar panels installed on our roof in Perth (Western Australia) in circa 1981. I am sure with multi layer applications we will hit commercially available close to 50% efficiency panels in 20 years or so.

  39. Michael Barfield on May 11, 2021 at 1:42 am

    Why don’t they just partially obscure the shadow cell? Any light then would make it work.

  40. Wes Johnston on May 11, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Generate energy with shadows? There is hope for the “dark sucker” theory. Google it!

  41. Leroy Babcock on May 11, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Good sh…I mean info.

  42. Nick Schroeder on May 11, 2021 at 1:47 am

    1) By reflecting away 30% of ISR the albedo, which would not exist w/o the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler than it would be without the atmosphere like that reflective panel set on the dash. Remove the atmosphere/GHGs and the earth becomes much like the moon, a barren rock with a 0.1 albedo, 20% more kJ/h, hot^3 on the lit side, cold^3 on the dark. Nikolov, Kramm (U of AK) and UCLA Diviner mission all tacitly agree.

    2) the GHG up/down welling, “trapping”/”back” radiating/delaying/intercepting, 100 % efficient, perpetual warming loop requires "extra" energy which according to RGHE theory it gets from

    3) the terrestrial surface radiating that "extra" energy as a near ideal .95 emissivity black body which

    4) it cannot do because of the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmospheric molecules.

    1+2+3+4 = 0 Greenhouse Effect + 0 Greenhouse gas warming + 0 man caused climate change.

    All science backed up by experiment, the gold standard of classical science.

    version 1.0 021321 matt

  43. Old Man Jim H on May 11, 2021 at 1:47 am

    Your low volume background sound is very distracting.

  44. Naitabdallah Mohamed on May 11, 2021 at 1:47 am

    Yep holding off but planning to build solar panels on my future new barn and need guidance please to off set my carbon footprint as a young new microfarm and be able to compete with the big fishes

  45. king shablooshki on May 11, 2021 at 1:49 am

    you can cook people like bacon on these things

  46. Monu Kumar on May 11, 2021 at 1:50 am

    I have an idea to go beyond 50% efficiency with less than the price of mono crystalline, working on it. Hope this dream will come true.
    Hint – Rather than researching on solar cell material we have to redesign the optics, that can create a significant change in efficiency.

  47. D R on May 11, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Thank you Mr. Ferrell for the work you put in to make these videos. I always thought that the future of humanity begins with renewable forms of energy and not fossil fuels. However the fact that the solar panels are not necessarily being recycled at the end of their useful lives and could have some drastic impact on the environment means that we need to find a way to make such technology recyclable at the end of life. Higher output of energy is not really an improvement if the environment is at risk. Humans and other life forms need clean water to drink and non polluted food supply. We humans need to keep improving the environment for our descendants and all life forms (except mosquitoes)…

  48. Kerry Smyth on May 11, 2021 at 1:52 am

    Is SurfShark a front for Chinese VPN spy services?

  49. Marjorie Zapanta on May 11, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Very factual and informative! Thank you for generously sharing your thoughts Matt 🙏😊 Renewable energy, solar in particular is rapidly grows and patronize globally 👏Great innovation and research 👏😊👏

  50. Mingkui Wang on May 11, 2021 at 1:54 am

    this is the biggest cheating in this century.

Leave a Comment