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NoCO2 02-01-2008 12:15 PM

80% efficient solar cells? Can it really be?

The above is a neat link I found while searching around today on my usual news blogs. Seems some researches have developed a new way to capture solar energy that may prove to be as much as 80% efficient. Now, if they can come up with a way to actually make that power usable, I will be very impressed. It works by capturing IR light on nano-antennas. They think that if they just add some nano-capacitors to the thing that they will actually be able to convert the electricity being generating into something that is actually usable.

I personally can't wait to see these progress, if they actually work like they say they should, solar powered cars are no longer that far fetched, especially since not only do these still produce power at night, they are on a flexible material, like a cloth.

cfg83 02-01-2008 02:28 PM

NoCO2 -

Cool. I have heard of other nano-solar energy solutions, but not this flavor. It's worth watching to see if it pans out.

Question : Would infrared mean *any* infrared? Could we put one next to a volcano and reap the benefits? Could we aim them at the the hot ground of Death Valley and get energy? Could they line the inside of a hood to capture a car engine's waste heat?

This is the kind of nano-energy stuff I have been aware of :

Nanogenerator provides continuous power by harvesting energy from the environment - April 05, 2007

Researchers have demonstrated a prototype nanometer-scale generator that produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow.

rmay635703 01-30-2010 09:15 PM

Well 2 years and this resurfaces "elsewhere" still not in production, would be neat if it could come to fruition in my lifetime, a stack of those onboard would rock.

luvit 01-30-2010 09:53 PM

IR means they're remote-controlled.
"Whelp! I've had enough free electricity for today!" *click*

RobertSmalls 01-31-2010 12:29 AM

Here's an article on the subject, written for grown-ups:

They say it produces 10THz AC within the antenna, which isn't the most useful form of energy. However, they "anticipate they are only a few years away from creating the next generation of solar energy collectors."

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