The future is huge for tiny technology. Miniaturization is, perhaps ironically, a huge deal. I mean, without it we wouldn't have had the personal computer revolution and we wouldn't have this world we live in now, where we have smartphones and tablets and other devices just as powerful as a computer, that can fit in the palm of your hand. But even these gadgets are gargantuan compared to nanotechnology! See, a nanometer is just one billionth of a meter. And that's kind of hard to imagine, so let me put it to you this way.
Your typical sheet of paper is about one hundred thousand nanometers thick. And at this scale, individual elements are so small you can't even see them with a light microscope. Now as we learn more about how materials behave on the nanoscale, we have more potential applications to use that knowledge practically. I'm talking about how nanotech could help solar panel technology. And fortunately, at a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, they had a panel on just this very subject. Now if you know anything about solar panels you know they have some drawbacks. For example,.
Efficiency they max out at around twenty percent in the field under ideal conditions. They're also rigid, so you can't just put them anywhere you like. And they tend to be expensive because manufacturing them is complicated. But scientists hope that nanotechnology can help address all three of these challenges. Now with efficiency they're looking to nature specifically, moth eyes. You see, moths have these little tiny structures in their eyes that help reflect light back into the eye and it does two things it lets them see better in the dark, and it cuts down.
On reflection so predators can't spot them as easily. With solar panels it could actually make them more efficient by reflecting more of the sun's light into the panel so you lose less in reflection. And when we're talking about flexibility, well nanomaterials are really, really small, and there is the potential to create solar panels that are just a few sheets of molecules thick. They could be as flexible as a sheet of paper, and with that kind of flexibility you could put those pretty much anywhere you wanted to.
And as for price, well, that's the big one. And in the short term I don't think it's going to turn around. But scientists are cautiously optimistic that nanotechnology will let us use new processes, like printing solar panels directly onto a substrate using just a specialized printer. That would actually be less complicated and expensive than traditional manufacturing methods. Now at that meeting of the AAAS, a Dr. Wolfgang Porod gave a talk about Nanoantenna Thermocouples for Energy Harvesting. Which I admit sounds like technobabble straight out of a Star Trek episode.
But it's actually fairly simple once you break it down. A nanoantenna is just an antenna on the nanoscale. These resonate with longwave infrared radiation. And a thermocouple Well that's a component of circuitry that generates a voltage when one part of the thermocouple is a different temperature than other part. So you pair these two together and the antenna generates heat and the thermocouple generates voltage. It could actually help increase the efficiency of solar panels. Now like I said, nanotechnology is a young science and it has lots of different applications.
Across many disciplines. And I'm really excited how such a small technology could have such a huge impact. That leads me to this week's question. When I say the word nanotechnology what do you imagine What does that word mean to you Let us know in the comments below. Then, do me a nanosized favor and share this tutorial with your friends. If you enjoyed it make sure you hit the 'like' button and subscribe to our channel. Then check out these tutorials over here. There's some huge surprises in them.
Art Inspired Solar Cells MichEpedia MconneX
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.
Harnessing natures solar cells
Leaves and plants are nature's solar panels the first step in photosynthesis is to change sunlight into a little bit of electricity, that then, gets converted into the processes of life. If we manage to somehow hijack the molecules that are responsible for photosynthesis in plants and other photosynthetic organisms, and use them to generate electricity for our own needs, this would represent a fantastic and disruptive new step in the way we generate solar power or electricity in general. So imagine if the raw material for a solar panel would be something that you.
Normally think of as trash, and you actually pay people to take away. Imagine that your grass clippings can become the active ingredient in a solar panel that you can create in your own home. The way that you would do it is take something green and extract the protein that is at the center of photosynthesis. That is not very hard, it's not as hard as it sounds anyway the hard part is once you've extracted this protein, how do you stabilize it and how do you make sure that it still continues operating continues.
Living, in a sense inside of a solar panel, while normally it is used to living inside of a plant. That is a problem that we have attacked here at the lab, and after many years of research we've managed to make the process of extracting this protein and stabilizing it and putting it on a surface that is made in a way that allows for a photovoltaic effect to happen, to be very easy. So the dream is to eventually be able to send people just the stabilizing powder that is benign and inexpensive and entirely easy.
To work with and has a long shelflife and doesn't mind being transported by truck over unimproved roads. And then all the people who would be interested in doing this have to do is find some kind of substrate, some kind of piece of metal, let's say this, or a piece of glass, and use any of the various protocols that we have described into making this a little rougher so it has a higher surface area, so they can capture more light and have higher efficiency, soak it in the green goo that they've added the stabilizing.
Peptides to, and that's basically it. After that you can connect a couple wires and charge a battery, use it to illuminate something you've got electricity from the sunlight. And the idea is because we have lowered the difficulty involved in making solar power that we're going to allow crowds, and one hopes thousands of people, to try it and figure out what works for them and what local materials they can find, perhaps in their backyard or they can find it in the junkyard, what works for them to become not only.
How a Portable Solar Lighting System Works
As we know we get a lot of free things in the world, one of which is solar energy and we should use it to its fullest. SuKam has come up with a new product Solar DC Home Lighting System which is a very unique and easy to carry product. We can charge this product from solar energy. Like you can see, we have a 40 Watt solar panel. All you need to do is connect this with the system and it will be charged. When solar energy is not.
Available, we have an adapter which we can easily use to connect to main to charge. There are two LED bulbs provided with the product. We can easily connect these two bulbs with the system and see. These LED bulbs are of 3 Watt and if we connect one LED to the system, it will give us almost 23 hours of battery backup. You can also connect lot more appliances to the system like DC TV. You can connect a 25 Watt DC TV with this small system and this DC TV will start working. Like you can see the DC TV is switched on. You can also.
Connect a 10 Watt DC fan to this system. There is a symbol of fan on this system. So, we can connect the fan here and start the fan. You can also charge your phone with this.There is a USB port provided here in front of it. So, you can connect it here and charge your phone. Here is also a FM port provided. So, you can connect it to FM and listen to it. As you can see my phone is charging here and you can use this product not only in villages.
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.
Los Alamos Discovers Super Efficient Solar Using Perovskite Crystals
Aditya Mohite Our group focuses on converting solar energy into electricity. And we're working on a class of solar cells which are referred to as third generation solar cells. The goal of our project was, how do we take these materials and control their crystalline properties, crystalline size, and get them to a point which are comparable to what is used in daytoday semiconductor industry like gallium arsenide or silicon. We're not there yet, silicon is the holy grail, but one of the biggest advantages of this material, at least from what we've begun to discover, is that you can make very high.
Quality crystals off this material which are large area, they are single crystalline, and they have properties which are at par with silicon or gallium arsenide. There's a lot of work that needs to be done in the engineering aspect of things, in terms of the stability you're trying to get, the right electrical contacts for them to perform at par with silicon, but I would say that this is something which will be achieved in the coming years. Wanyi Nie So, we developed a new technique, it's called the hot casting process, where we keep.
Our substrate hot and solution hot and do the spincoating at elevated temperature and at the same time the film color will be converted from light yellow to dark brown which means we're forming a highquality crystalline grain, and if we look at it under the microscope we are able to achieve up to millimeter scale large crystal grains. Normally for the crystals to grow usually require high temperature or sophisticated processing, but this method is kind of low temperature and easy solution processing. Mohite There has always beena lot of defects and disorder and multiple interfaces.
That has plagued efficiencies, and so by growing these crystals of highquality you have sort of circumvented that problem and solved an important bottleneck which has existed in this field of nanomaterial, solutionbased solar cells, third generation solar cells. Solar energy is trying to tap into the unlimited amount of solar energy that falls on Earth and that's basically free, and if you can harvest that at a very, very low cost, much cheaper that what is used, by burning coal for example, and fossil fuels, then that gives us a route to really be completely energy.
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