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New Film To Make Solar Panels More Efficient

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posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 07:27 PM
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Electrical engineers have developed a film which reflects almost no light, using this film on solar cells will increase the solar cells efficiency by enabling it to absorb more solar power and producing more electricity.

Taking the Shine Off

For years, scientists have been seeking ways to make certain materials less reflective. Solar cells, for example, would be far more efficient if they reflected less light and absorbed more of it as energy. To achieve this goal, researchers have concentrated on reducing a material's refractive index--a measure of its ability of to reflect light. Ice has a refractive index of 1.31, for example; air has an index of 1. But making low-reflective materials, which are also thin enough to serve as coatings, has proven tricky.



The true breakthrough of this material, says optical scientist Daniel Poitras of the Institute for Microstructural Sciences in Ontario, Canada, is its arrangement as a five-layer sheet. That's what allows it to capture far more light than traditional coatings, he says. Schubert adds that the new coating reflects no light across much of the visual spectrum, unlike others that work only at a single wavelength. That's a potential plus for solar cells, which could more efficiently use the sun's energy for a boost in performance. One concern, notes Poitras, is fragility. Such a porous material could degrade under certain conditions, such as humidity.


The more efficient they can make solar cells, the closer we may be to seeing more electric cars on the road and houses that can generate there own electricity using solar power.




posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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I truly believe solar technologies will play a major roll in saving our planet..Check this out
news.nationalgeographic.com...

The Sun its free, its clean..There for all to take..Why are we fighting over oil??

[edit on 3/4/2007 by gotanybob]



posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by gotanybob
I truly believe solar technologies will play a major roll in saving our planet..


The unfortunate and often overlooked truth about solar panels is that it takes more energy and pollution to make them than they are able to save and prevent over their normal useful life.


Originally posted by gotanybob
The Sun its free, its clean..There for all to take..Why are we fighting over oil??


Because there isn't enough surface area of the globe available to effectively convert sun light into enough usable energy. Even solar/wind/wave combined would barely provide about 30% of our energy needs.



posted on Mar, 4 2007 @ 10:45 PM
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The unfortunate and often overlooked truth about solar panels is that it takes more energy and pollution to make them than they are able to save and prevent over their normal useful life.


I would have to agree with you there..

At a current cost of 25 to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour, solar power is significantly more expensive than conventional electrical power for residences. Average U.S. residential power prices are less than ten cents per kilowatt-hour, according to experts.


But I got to believe more research and development in this field will lead to lower costs..



Because there isn't enough surface area of the globe available to effectively convert sun light into enough usable energy. Even solar/wind/wave combined would barely provide about 30% of our energy needs.


Well the idea is we make solar more efficient..Seems like we could be headed that way now..


With further advances, the new plastic "could allow up to 30 percent of the sun's radiant energy to be harnessed, compared to 6 percent in today's best plastic solar cells," said Peter Peumans, a Stanford University electrical engineering professor,


Thats just solar..


"If we could cover 0.1 percent of the Earth's surface with [very efficient] large-area solar cells," he said, "we could in principle replace all of our energy habits with a source of power which is clean and renewable."


I'm not saying solar is the answer today..With these possible advances..It very well could be 10+ years from now..

This is just solar electric P.V.. We already know that solar water heating is very efficient DHW,Pool and radiant/area heating..This type of solar can have a very quick payback..

[edit on 3/4/2007 by gotanybob]



posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 01:02 AM
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Originally posted by Freedom_for_sum

Originally posted by gotanybob
I truly believe solar technologies will play a major roll in saving our planet..


The unfortunate and often overlooked truth about solar panels is that it takes more energy and pollution to make them than they are able to save and prevent over their normal useful life.


I searched on Google with several different phrases and couldn't find anything to collaborate with what you state here.

I'm just curious 'cause I never heard that it takes more energy to produce solar cells/panels than they can produce in their lifetime.

Is there a website you could post with this information?

[edit on 5/3/07 by Keyhole]



posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 04:53 AM
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Actually the link I posted is old 2 years to be exact..The prices for P.V. panels has come down quite a bit since then..Depending where you live you might get a rebate and/or tax incentives..That could further reduce the cost by as much as 50%..But unless your paying extremely high electrical rates..Probably better holding off awhile..But the cost of solar is coming down and electricity is going up..With much more efficient panels on the way..Higher demands should help keep costs in check..It's kind of hard to think this isn't the future..



posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 06:07 PM
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There is a lot of on-going research into photo voltaics in general. For example, recently it has been discovered that quantum dots can increase the number of electrons emitted after a single photon strike--as much as 7 to 1 over silicone based panels alone. However, the dots also have a great affinity for free electrons and very quickly absorb most of them. If this can be changed to some extent then it might be possible to increase the efficiency of solar panels significantly beyond the current upper limit of around 31%.

Given todays oil prices not much of an efficiency increase is needed to make solar power competitive with oil. Quantum dots, by the way, can be produced for only a tiny fraction of the cost of silicone.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 08:59 PM
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Crystalline silicon PV systems presently have energy pay-back times of 1.5-2 years for South-European locations and 2.7-3.5 yr for Middle-European locations.

Source

Solar cells take 1-3 years to create energy used in their manufacture. And with these cells lasting decades, it's safe to say they do not consume more energy than they produce.

TJ11240



posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 08:07 PM
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I see on the web people talking about yesteryears energy usage and how to meet those needs.

By 2050 the world will need twice as much energy as today and by 2100 quadruple the amount in use today and by 2150 eight times as much energy as is used today.

We can't live in the past that will only lead to war!

We have to start thinking about this problem before it gets out of control.

The problems of pollution from and the tranporrt and processing of fossil fuels and nuclear materials will make it impossible for the world to meet it's need.

Though space-based solar is more expensive than Earth based energy it may be the only way out for the human race.


www.worldenergy.org...


The only other solution to such a monumental task of providing 8X more energy than now by 2150 would be fusion power and there is nothing there right now.



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