Solar panels based on silicon efficiency won't be greater than 50%

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by solarefficiency, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. solarefficiency
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    solarefficiency Rookie

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    Solar efficiency of silicon panels won't be greater than 50% due to heat energy loss. Need a metal that can absorb heat greater and conduct electricity, such as copper.:confused:
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Beyond my technical paygrade.

    Is 50% efficiency not a good rate of conversion from solar to electrical power?
     
  3. solarefficiency
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    solarefficiency Rookie

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    It depends on your point of view. Today's Internal combustion engines run at 30% efficiency, a similar efficiency to today's silicon solar panels. If you think 30% to 50% efficiency is good enough then good for you. :eusa_shifty:
     
  4. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    What he's saying is solar is not the energy wave of the future and will not eliminate or even greatly reduce dependence upon oil.

    Which everyone already knows...
     
  5. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    The Israelis are building ONE solar energy plant that will supply 5% of their energy needs.

    And then there's this from the boys at MIT....

    July 31, 2008 11:00 AM PDT
    MIT researchers split water to store solar energy
    Posted by Martin LaMonica

    The key to plentiful solar power is water, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Daniel Nocera.

    Nocera and his MIT colleague, Matthew Kanan, on Thursday will publish a technical paper that describes what they claim is a breakthrough in solar energy storage.


    The key to MIT's discovery is a catalyst made from abundant materials that can make oxygen gas by passing an electrical current through water more effectively than previous methods.

    (Credit: MIT)The idea is to use the energy from solar photovoltaic panels (or another electricity source) to crack water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Those gases would be stored and used later in a fuel cell to make electricity when the sun is not shining.

    The concept is a closed-loop system: running the hydrogen and water through the fuel cell creates water, which can be captured and used again.

    The hope is that within 10 years, a cost-effective system that combines clean energy generation with storage can be engineered and available cheaply to people around the world.

    "I'm open-sourcing this to let everybody run with it," he said. "My plan is that when people see it, they'll see it's easy to do and they'll start working it."

    Artificial photosynthesis
    The core scientific discovery was finding a way to break oxygen out of the water with a relatively inexpensive and benign material, Nocera said. The catalyst--made of a cobalt phosphate--can operate in plain water at atmospheric pressure, giving it more potential than existing methods, he said.

    Commercially available electrolyzers already split hydrogen atoms from water. A hydrogen filling station, for example, could use an electric-powered electrolyzer to break off hydrogen from water.

    A finished system that MIT researchers envision would separate both hydrogen and oxygen. Once stored, both gases would be fed into a fuel cell using a second catalyst like platinum to make electricity.

    John Turner, a research fellow in photoelectric chemistry at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL), called the work a "significant result."

    MIT researchers split water to store solar energy | Green Tech - CNET News.com
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  6. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Ridiculous statement.

    The Israelis are building one solar energy plant that will supply 5% of their energy needs.

    Every new house built in America should be required to have solar shingles on it.

    That would reduce the need for oil.
     
  7. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    Efficiency doesn't mean a whole lot for solar. When I say efficiency here I mean "percentage of solar flux converted to electrical power". As solar advocates never tire of pointing out, the total amount of power that falls to earth as sunlight in one day could power today's civilization for a thousand years or whatever.

    No, what's really important for solar is cost efficiency, not photo-electric efficiency. The answer: printing solar cells like newspapers. They aren't very efficient, but who cares, they're cheap. Konarka and Nanosolar are two examples. I really don't think their technology will displace coal or natural gas power as the backbone of industrial power. But they'll do a nice job of counteracting my a/c bill in the summer when the sun comes out.
     
  8. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    They are only one part of the solution, but they are getting more and more efficient, and the Israelis are leading the way in this technology.
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Give Americans a shot of reducing their energy bills and most of them WILL take it.

    But it's about economics, folks.

    Does the return on investment work for most of us?

    Not yet.

    Few of us can afford to get off (or contribute to) the grid right now.
     
  10. CharlestonChad
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    CharlestonChad Baller Deluxe

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    Solar panels have nothing to do with heat. At least from the photoelectric effect studies I've done. Photons of light from the sun enter into the panel. There are individual chambers where wavelengths will reach tiny metal panels. The light excites the metal, which will give off electrons. A circuit is created that loops from the metal, to a generator (more specific term unknown), and back to the chamber. The excited electron creates a flux, thus sending a current through the wire. This happens repeatedly. The work required to remove the electron and the level of kinetic energy given off from freed electron go against each other. So if we have a metal that will easily give off it's outer valence shell electrons, then we will create more voltage from the chamber. Do this a few thousand times every second and that's a solar panel. Currently, people who are installing solar panels on their homes are getting paid from the electric companies for the excess energy they are bringing in. Pretty cool stuff, if ya ask me. Add this along with solar, nuclear, and bio fuels and we'll be oil free in no time.
     

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