The solar industry is very, very focused on improving efficiency and reducing the cost. Our attempt here with this research is to propose a new way of looking at these structures and saying, well, you can use existing materials and nothing really needs to change very much. You just shape them in different ways that gives you this benefit. Kirigami is a Japanese art that's related to origami where origami is really about folding of things and kirigami is about cutting things. A colleague of mine who is an artist, Matthew Shlian, he had some interesting.
New shapes and when you pulled on the sheet of paper the cuts would sort of begin to buckle and deform in a very controlled way and so I realized at that point that we could look at that structure as a hyperminiaturized version of solar trackers. Conventional solar tracking has been used for many, many years. The mechanism itself cost quite a bit of extra money. What people end up doing as they say, well, since the mechanisms gonna cost all this extra money. we might as well put a really big panel and then eventually you end up with.
Something that's really big and really heavy. When you think about putting this type of thing on a rooftop it's very very difficult and in most cases is just purely impossible. It was a fairly lengthy process because the things that you do in paper don't automatically translate to other materials and so I started talking to my colleague, Stephen Forrest, about using some of their very high efficiency gallium arsenide solar cells. They're pretty thin, less than 2 microns thick that's ten to fifty times thinner than the thickness of a human hair. What the new design allows us.
To do in contrast to conventional tracking is it basically allows us to work with the same form factor. It doesn't catch the wind, it doesn't weigh any more than a conventional solar panel might and the thing that it buys you is that you can use less semiconductor to gather the same amount of energy. A third less material to generate the same total amount of energy that you would otherwise. Which means that in turn that I could decrease the cost of installation because there are fewer panels to install but you do require little bit of extra area. When you.
Multiply it by the total number of solar installations it's kind of like a billion dollar value proposition potentially. I guess it looks simple enough, kind of like something that you could do on your kitchen table, things don't have to be complicated for them to work. If this can be shown to be quite reliable, then the net benefit could be quite big. V.O. These candies which are already pretty soft should be about 10 to 100 times stiffer than the silicone. So the material that we're working with in the lab is really really soft.
Energy 101 Solar PV
MR. All right, we all know that the sun's energy creates heat and light. But it can also be converted to make electricity, and lots of it. One technology is called solar photovoltaics or PV for short. You've probably seen PV panels around for years, but recent advancements have greatly improved their efficiency and electrical output. Enough energy from the sun hits the earth every hour to power the planet for an entire year. Here's how it works. You see, sunlight is made up of tiny packets of energy called photons.
These photons radiate out from the sun, and about 93 million miles later, they collide with a semiconductor on a solar panel here on Earth. It all happens at the speed of light. Take a closer look, and you can see the panel is made up of several individual cells, each with a positive and a negative layer, which create an electric field. It works something like a battery. So the photons strike the cell, and their energy frees some electrons in the semiconductor material. The electrons create an electric current, which is harnessed.
By wires connected to the positive and negative sides of the cell. The electricity created is multiplied by the number of cells in each panel and the number of panels in each solar array. Combined, a solar array can make a lot of electricity for your home or business. This rooftop solar array powers this home, and the array on top of this warehouse creates enough electricity for about a thousand homes. OK, there are some obvious advantages to solar PV technology. It produces clean energy. It has no emissions, no moving parts, it doesn't make any noise and it doesn't need water.
Why Teslas Powerwall Battery Is Amazing
All of humanity just won a really important victory in our battle to lower the CO2 emissions that are causing climate change. Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the world to the Powerwall, a wallmounted battery for your house which aims to accelerate our transition to clean solar and windpower. Before the powerwall, there was no way to store the energy generated from the panels that capture sunlight on our roofs. So during the day they could give you the power you needed, but at night, you had to rely on the grid, which gets most of its.
Electricity from coal, natural gas, and nuclear reactors. There had been some early home batteries out there, but nothing that was nearly this affordable. But Tesla, which has built thousands of large, lithiumion battery packs for its growing electric car business, was able to produce a similar battery for buildings at a scale that dropped the production costs dramatically. The lowest capacity model will cost just $3,000. And this is the first generation of the productbefore Tesla's even completed building its massive new Gigafactory, or any real competitors have entered the market, events that will surely push the price down.
Even further, while increasing the energy storage capacity of the Powerwall. Here's how it works. When the sun is out, solar panels will power your house and charge the Powerwall at the same time. And when the sun goes down, this charged battery will kick in to meet most or all of your electricity needs until the sun comes back up again the next morning. This is gamechanging. More and more people will go completely offgrid. Every building whether it's a home, office, business, warehouse, factory they can all.
Install solar panels and some Powerwalls and instantly see their fossil fuelgenerated electricity needs drop significantly. Not every building will be able to go completely solarpowered, but most will get pretty close, especially as our appliances become more and more energy efficient. And it gets even better. The powerwall will be connected to the Internet and the rest of the energy grid. Here in Southern California, and most other heavily populated places, the electricity company charges us a lot more when we use electricity during peak timethat's in the afternoon and early evening when the temperatures are warmest and most of us are.
Home and still awake. The Tesla battery is smart, and knows when electricity is cheapest, so that's when it will draw from the grid to charge itself. And then, during peak time when you need electricity, the battery will power the house. Sometimes, you'll be able to sell back unused power to the utility company during peak time to even make a profit. It's basically going to make each individual building its own power station. Overnight, Tesla seems less a futuristic car company, and more like the man who inspired the company's name, a revolutionary electricity engineer named Nikola.
Thanks for watching. If you liked this tutorial, help the conversation spread by hitting that thumbs up button. For TDC, I'm Bryce Plank. on the screen to watch more TDC, like our tutorial running down ten possible clean energy sources of the future or the ten fastest electric cars on the road. You can click to go back on our channel or take us up on our offer for a free audiobook of your choice from Audible, like the soontobereleased profile of Elon Musk. You have to put your credit card number in, but you get to try the service without charge for a whole month,.
How a Solar Panel Works
Alright, so what we've got here is a model of our panel. This is not the same model that is going up on our house, but it is a PV cell and it operates in the same way. Now what we've got here is it's pointing up at the sun. As you can see it's about midday, the sun is right on top of us, and the sun in shining down directly onto it, and if you look at this voltmeter here, you can see that we're getting about 20 volts opencircuit.
Coming out of this panel. What that means is that it's taking the sun's energy, it's converting it to DC voltage, and we're reading it out right there. You can actually measure the change, based on the angle of the panel. Right now it's just about optimum. If I were to take this panel and start to turn it over away from the sun that voltage is going to drop dramatically. Now, it doesn't go to zero because we're still getting radiation that is still not directly from the sun, and that's what this little device here measures. We've got this, and.
DIY Solar Panel System Cost
The total of the system and materials was $22K. I ended up spending about another $1,800 in permit fees and a structural engineer and $400 for an electrician, several hundred dollars for a guy to come help me out for the two afternoons he spent with me. Xcel Energy gave me $16,538 rebate. Fix cost based on the number of kilowatts you are installing and has nothing to do with how much you pay the permit office or the electrician. My final cost after rebate was $7,237. I started my research in solar probably about a year before I actually installed it went.
And got a couple of bids from some of the local solar people both from contractors that my friends have used as well as just searching the internet and while talking to one of the guys I find of developed a good feeling from him, and I asked the question Would it be possible to do some of the work myself and kind of learn along the way he said Sure I absolutely support the doityourselfer DIY so I said why don't you throw me bids, what it would cost just come home and have solar one day and what it would cost to have.
It done where I do some or all the work myself. And throw them both to me and I said let's try the second one. The guys name is Steve Cross from Sun Spot Solar. I gave him my electric bills and said this is how much I think I need to generate and he said I agree and lets do these types of panels 180 watts each, you will need some where around 19 to 22 we figured out 21 fit pretty well. So I went and got all the permit information from Golden, filled it out. He came by 12.
Hour one day he type all the Xcel application on the internet and I kind of ran the process and when I had a question I would just send him an email and he helped me out. I think in parallel we order the equipment he dropped off in my driveway. Then one of his installers came out and helped me for two afternoons and I pretty much myself put in the whole rack system on the roof and the installer came out and helped me kind of a two man job carrying the panels up, putting the panels down and bracketing them down.
Polymer Solar Cells
Music narrator The sun provides a clean renewable source of energy. But electricity is expensive to produce using solar cells compared to nuclear energy or power from fossil fuels. Research at the University of NebraskaLincoln focuses on a solution. Huang The goal of this project is to make a more efficient and cheaper solar cells. UNL engineer Jinsong Huang earned a National Science Foundation Career Award to advance his research into solar energy devices. Huang wants to replace the silicon material used in today's solar cells with polymers or plastics. narrator Huang and his colleagues have designed a new structure that includes a thin layer of ferro electric.
Polymer, a material often used in insulation. Combined with organic polymers and electrodes, the device would generate more electricity at a lower cost. When this labsized device is perfected, it could be produced on a large scale. narrator If Huang can improve the efficiency of the polymer solar cell, the new device could replace the large solar panes atop buildings. And because polymers are flexible, future solar cells could also be pasted on a window or incorporated in fabric to provide a charge for your laptop or warmth on a camping trip.
SolarCity Unveils Worlds Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel with more than 22 Module Efficiency.
The Sun provides endless energy, but the average solar cell panel can convert only 14 to 20 of the energy it collects into usable electricity. Now, American energy company SolarCity has built the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent. The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere. SolarCity will begin producing the first modules in small quantities this month at its 100.
MW pilot facility, but the majority of the new solar panels will ultimately be produced at SolarCity's 1 GW facility in Buffalo, New York. SolarCity expects to be producing between 9,000 10,000 solar panels each day with similar efficiency when the Buffalo facility reaches full capacity. SolarCity's panel was measured with 22.04 percent modulelevel efficiency by Renewable Energy Test Center, a thirdparty certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products. SolarCity's new panel is created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other highefficiency technologies, and it.
How Solar Energy Is Converted To Electricity Through Solar Panels
Sunlight is made up of tiny packets of energy, called photons. Every minute, enough of this energy reaches the earth to meet the world's energy demand for a whole year. Photovoltaic panels consists of many solar cells, these are materials made like silicon, one of the most common elements on earth. The individual cell is designed with a positive and a negative layer to create an electric field, just like in the battery. As photons are absorb in the cell, their energy causes electrons to come free. The electrons move towards the bottom of the cell, and exit through the connecting wire. This flow of.
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