Very high efficiency solar

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Old Rocks, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    It will be interesting to see how this develops.

    New solar product captures up to 95 percent of light energy

    New solar product captures up to 95 percent of light energy
    MU engineer plans to make solar panels more effective in collecting energy


    Efficiency is a problem with today's solar panels; they only collect about 20 percent of available light. Now, a University of Missouri engineer has developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light, and he plans to make prototypes available to consumers within the next five years.

    Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic (PV) methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum. The device his team has developed – essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna – can harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to a direct solar facing nantenna device capable of collecting solar irradiation in the near infrared and optical regions of the solar spectrum.

    Working with his former team at the Idaho National Laboratory and Garrett Moddel, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Colorado, Pinhero and his team have now developed a way to extract electricity from the collected heat and sunlight using special high-speed electrical circuitry. This team also partners with Dennis Slafer of MicroContinuum, Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to immediately port laboratory bench-scale technologies into manufacturable devices that can be inexpensively mass-produced.

    "Our overall goal is to collect and utilize as much solar energy as is theoretically possible and bring it to the commercial market in an inexpensive package that is accessible to everyone," Pinhero said. "If successful, this product will put us orders of magnitudes ahead of the current solar energy technologies we have available to us today."
     
  2. PLYMCO_PILGRIM
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    PLYMCO_PILGRIM Gold Member

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    What is the cost of manufacturing these new panels in comparison to the old ones?

    Do you have any links on where maybe someone could buy one if they want to?

    Are they even available to people like me yet?

    If you can't tell im on the market for some solar cells ;).
     
  3. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Why don't just they make the products out of CO2?
     
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  4. PLYMCO_PILGRIM
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    PLYMCO_PILGRIM Gold Member

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    brilliant!
     
  5. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Very groovy development. :thup:
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    OK, there are some simple rules for that. One, if you are mechanically inclined, you can buy the individual cells, like, say, the A-300, and build your own panels. That represents a huge saving. However, for many, if not most, a better way to go is to get a panel kit, and do your own installation. That will represent quite a saving by itself.

    At present, the best efficiencies are about 20% for the cells, about 17% for the panels. The differance is the wasted space because of the round cells. If they can actually get the panels to anywhere near 90% that will represent more than 4 times the output for a given area. And mean that absolute south facing is not neccessary.

    I have seen claims like this for many other types of innovations in solar, only to see them run into technical problems that have yet to be solved. Q-dots, and many other innovations. So, that is why I am state it wil be interesting to see how this develops. I hope this is for real, but would not put off purchasing solar now if it is economical for you.
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    If it can be brought to the manufacturing stage. That is where many products like this die. Producing something one off in the lab, and by the million in a manufacturing environment are definately two differant things.
     
  8. PLYMCO_PILGRIM
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    PLYMCO_PILGRIM Gold Member

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    Thanks man. I dont usually agree with your thoughts and ideas in the Global Warming arena but that doesn't mean I don't like green tech like solar panels ;).
     
  9. auditor0007
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    auditor0007 Gold Member

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    Sooner or later, someone is going to develop something in the alternate energy field that is going to completely change the way we get our energy.
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Well, it can't happen too soon.
     

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