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Self-Repairing Solar Panels

self repariing solar panels in bryan roofing

Solar roofing and technology in Bryan, TX is taking off at an ever growing rate due in part to rising energy prices and demand.  As such current solar roofing installations tend to be more expensive than a traditional asphalt shingle roof.  That is due to the extra mounting parts and time it takes to properly assemble the entire system.  And while the long term costs of solar roofing can be a wise investment, the initial costs of installation and maintenance are often the biggest barriers to entry.

However, in a study by Koo and Velev (2013), researchers found that maintenance costs can be reduced if normal solar panel wear and tear is reduced.  Solar panels undergo normal wear and tear from the sun itself, even under normal circumstances.  One way to combat the sun’s damaging effects is to implement a regenerative or reparative system in the solar roofing system, mimicking the behavior of plants.

When photosystems (photoreceptors and related components) in plants undergo permanent damage by light, the damaged material is degraded, removed, and ultimately replaced by newly synthesized material.  The entire chemical reaction can be reversible and controlled by surfactants.  Added to the plant’s ability to regenerate material is the network that supplies the leaf surface with water, ions, and other important elements.


Researchers mimicked plant networks and photosystems by creating a system device contained a hydrogel matrix comprised of Eosin Y, an organic dye and potassium iodide.  Koo and Velev injected the matrix into photosystems and measured the voltage changes in relation to the current density (amount of matrix injected into the system device).


Not only did the matrix increase the voltage in the system by increasing the active area of the photosystem, the photosystem regenerated its efficiency back to 100% of its original performance.  While plants regenerate and repair through absorbing of nutrients and water, solar panel systems require an injection of the matrix gel at minimal intervals (based on the intensity of environmental conditions).


Materials comprising the matrix used in the study were the cheapest price in the industry; leading researches to believe they have found an even cheaper form solar device that could power the next generate solar roofing installations.  Evidence also indicates that the solar collection devices will require less maintenance because of the reparative properties of the solar roofing system.  Further, researchers show that solar panel efficiency can be restored with a minimal injection of the matrix materials.

Combining lower cost of production due to improved solar collection matrix and a lower cost of maintenance will reduce the cost of solar roofing systems significantly in the coming years.  That means additional investment opportunities and savings will be created from solar roofing improvement in Bryan, TX.

For more information on the latest solar roofing systems available and to learn more about how solar roofing will actually save you money over the life of the roofing system, contact Schulte Roofing today.

Koo, H., Velev, O.D. Regenerable Photovoltaic Devices with a Hydrogel-Embedded in Microvascular Network. 2013. Scientific Reports 3. 2357
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