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.
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.
VISIONS CTRLP Australias Largest Solar Cells
Melbourne researchers have successfully created Australia's largest and most flexible solar cells, with the aid of a new printer located at CSIRO. The scientists are part of a collaboration between research and industry partners called the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium VICOSC. This was achieved through the collaboration between The University of Melbourne and the Bio21 Institute, CSIRO, Monash University and industry partners including Bluescope Steel and security printing firm Innovia Security. In just three years the consortium has gone from making cells the size of a fingernail, to cells 10 centimetres square.
They are now able to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper. The consortium is now leading the world in the ability to print solar cells and using different printing technologies, but this is the beginning of the story. We're still developing the technologies, still developing the materials to enable us to print in a number of different ways for different applications. The new printer can roll out 10 metres of solar cells per minute, which is equivalent to producing one cell every two seconds. Using semiconducting inks, the researchers print the cells.
Straight onto paperthin flexible plastic or steel. So what we're looking at is, how can we use this technology in the short term, how can we print solar cells to enable advertising, can we put solar cells on to advertising material in shopping centres to drive an active display. So if somebody wants to advertise something with nice flashing lights then at the moment they drive that with batteries. In the longer term we see these materials being able to be coated on to buildings, into windows and on roofs to provide.
Power in a wide variety of locations and circumstances. As part of the consortium, graduate students working alongside scientists are involved in training and development programs to improve the technology in the long term. We're now right up there with the rest of the people in the world but we've also got a facility which is different. We now have a process through our collaboration where we take things from the very very beginning, from designing materials, from making devices in the lab scale right through the large scale printing, which is very very unusual in the world context.
Chemical engineers research may lead to inexpensive, flexible solar cells.
We are working on controlling the microstructure on polymers on the nanometer level in order to create functional device things that can, for example, generate electricity from sunlight. So our efforts are really focused on being able to develop a new class of, for example, solar cells or photovoltaic devices where we can utilize the properties of self assembly. In other words, we can get the molecules to arrange themselves on a nanometerlength scale to create a structure which is amenable for generating electricity from sunlight. And what we're trying to do is make these from materials which have inherent new properties.
As compared to traditional solar cells, for example, silicon solar cells. So we're trying to make things such as flexible solar cells or solar cells you can make in the same way in which you make newspaper reel, basically be able to manufacture these things through rolltoroll processing or other relatively inexpensive, easytomanufacture methods. When we think about solar cells, we often think about siliconbased solar cells, which are there relatively large, very rigid and brittle devices that we either sometimes put on top of a rooftop of a house or we put on the front of our calculators or our watches.
Or what have you. What we're trying to make is something that's a little bit different. A flexible solar cell is something you can roll up, for example, like a carpet. So imagine now instead of having to lug this very large installation on top of a roof, you can lug what's essentially a carpet roll, roll it on onto your roof, and have that generate electricity, for example, for your house's needs. Where we need to go in terms of our technology is to demonstrate that we can achieve the.
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.
Printing Australias largest solar cells
Dr Scott Watkins We're really pleased to commission what is now Australia's largest facility for printing thin film solar cells. This equipment that has been purchased over the last few months and commissioned in our labs here in Melbourne will enable us to print A3 size solar cells. We've rapidly scaled up making our devices from fingernail size in the lab to A3 size devices that are fully printed now. And at this size we're definitely up there with the best in the world. In the short term we're looking for applications in consumer devices.
Why Should We Launch Solar Panels Into Space
This episode of DNews is brought to you by Full Sail University. This week the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency announced it wants to get solar power from space. I'm having flashbacks to disasters from SimCity2000. Hello! I'm Trace. Thank you for watching DNews. Back in the 1960s, American aerospace engineer Peter Glaser proposed launching solar panels into space, and beaming the power they collect back to the surface for our use. Since the late 60s the idea has been in a holding pattern mainly because of the expense and worries about maintenance and equipment, but thanks.
To recent developments in solar panel tech the Japanese space firm JAXA says they can finally try it. The plan is ambitious at minimum and cost hasn't yet been calculated, BUT JAXA is determined, and they're not the only ones. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is also interested in spacebased solar. The reason everyone's looking up, is because that's where the sun sits! If we can put a satellite in orbit to collect the sun's rays BEFORE the atmosphere filters them out, and without the worry of a cloudy day, that would be rad. The JAXA Space Based Power System.
Or SBPS will orbit 22,400 miles up, and if done to their specs, would completely replace a nuclear power plant by producing 1 gigawatt of electricity enough to power halfamillion homes. Their plan uses a 10,000 metric ton system, which is. well pretty ridiculous. The largest rocket ever launched was the Saturn V it took our boys to the moon and could only lift about 130 metric tons. Once the power is gathered, a converter in space will convert the electricity into a microwave beam not like in your house, literally waves of energy that are.
On the micro scale. Microwaves can be converted from energy at 80 percent efficiency, which means there would be some loss, but it would be pretty damn efficient about 48 of the power collected would reach consumers. Which doesn't sound great, but it really is. To make sure the array is getting sunlight 24hours a day, JAXA plans to put mirrors on either side of the planet to reflect sunlight at the collector all the time. The Japanese are announcing their plan so far in advance in the hope other countries.
Will gather and help realize the dream of solar from space. Once created, it could provide clean, unlimited energy anywhere on the planet, regardless of remote location. Here's the kicker. It would cost about a trillion dollars. Which sounds like a lot, but it's like 125 bucks per person on the planet in 2030. And that's WAY more than you're paying doe your power bill. Not to mention oil wars and all the pollution, ecological damage, mining and drilling that goes with fossil fuels. We've got commenting areaaassss, check them out and type your feelings on spacebased.
Solar so we can all talk about it! None of this would be possible without computers to run the system, and we need people to write the computer programs. Full Sail University in Florida offers courses to help train tech professionals by blending code and realworld experience. Students of Full Sail have handson access to technology on their first day, get a discounted laptop and all the software they'll need to earn degrees in software, mobile and web development. To find out more and support the show go to fullsail.edudnews! Thanks.
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,.
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