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Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
Well this seems like a significant evolution in solar tech. Stanford scientist have figured a way to utilize both light and heat for solar power. The first time photovoltaic and thermal energy generated is combined.'The process is called PETE, photon enhanced thermionic emissions. The process incorporates cesium to more than double the current efficiency levels of solar panels. This technology can be added to existing tech too to make it better.
The efficiency of this new idea brings the cost to a point where it becomes a viable competitor with oil[b/]. The new technique uses readily available materials and is cheap to boot up with older systems.
The researchers coat a piece of semi-conducting material with cesium which allows the cells to use light and heat generated. They used gallium nitride because of it's ability to withstand high temps , but will be using gallium arsenide in the future, which is commonly used in household electronics.
When used, the PETE devices could reach 60% efficiency. 30% alone would bring the cost on par with oil prices.
I think this is very cool.....
gallium arsenide -en.wikipedia.org... sounds like strong stuff and Calif has listed it as a carcinogen. Further testing will be done to determine levels of toxicity.