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The future of Solar Power is 3D

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posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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Researchers at MIT are designing new 3D structures that can generate between 2 to 20 times the power output from the same area when compared to using conventional flat solar panels.


the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area.


The 3D structures look like this:



Obviously these structures collect more light than a simple flat solar panel. It's so obvious, I wonder why no one thought of it before. I guess many inventions seem obvious once discovered.

Different shapes were tried and the accordion-like tower shape seems to offer the best results:



The researchers want to scale up these towers and claim:


Our findings suggest that harnessing solar energy in three dimensions can open new avenues towards Terawatt-scale generation.


web.mit.edu...
pubs.rsc.org...


Would you put one of these in your yard or on your roof?




posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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Nice find OP. I like to see technology advance like this..



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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None, the problem is not there, its not space or output, its the cost.
So, neither on my roof or backyard or front yard or anywhere else.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by NullVoid
None, the problem is not there, its not space or output, its the cost.
So, neither on my roof or backyard or front yard or anywhere else.


It's true that solar photovoltaic cells need to come down in price, and are to a certain degree.

The price would be offset by the free energy you would collect, reducing your fuel bills.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by NullVoid
 


However, the more people that jump on the bandwagon the cheaper it will become. To many oil companies downplaying solar power to even get its foot in the door. I remember back in the late 80's when cd players came out. They were upwards of 700 bucks when they came out. Several years later, they dropped to almost nothing. Same idea here. People need to quit listening to the oil companies and their lobbyists.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by Nicolas Flamel
 


This makes no sense?

The chart shows it generating more power on a cloudy day than a clear day?

Why would a cube collect more sunlight than a flat surface if both of them had equal surface areas? Of course, anything vertical on the same footprint will collect more, because it has more solar panel surface area, but the cost of those extra solar panels is significant.

I do not believe a cube or a tower with equal solar cell area will collect more energy than a flat surface perpendicular to the sun's rays, that is just ridiculous.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Nicolas Flamel
 


This is just the beginning. Eventually they will have multilattice structures built directly into each panel then they will stack those up into several layers. I can see it now, a cube on my back porch that will power my house.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I thought the graph was talking about how much more efficient the given 3d shape was vs the flat shape. The graph could use some more clarity on that point, but in that context I think it makes sense



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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If I won the mega millions jackpot, I would create a solar and other renewable energy based plant.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by Nicolas Flamel
Researchers at MIT are designing new 3D structures that can generate between 2 to 20 times the power output from the same area when compared to using conventional flat solar panels.




This technology could be a game changer.
That will make the production of renewable power much cheaper than fossil fuel, thus encouraging development of massive fields of cells (for the profit of the 1% of course lol). But at least it would help us all.
edit on 28-3-2012 by pirhanna because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


You can have many more solar panels per base footprint if you stack them like this than having just one on the ground.

The chart is a little confusing, they are comparing flat panels to 3D panels, so for cloudy days, a 3D panel is much more efficient than a flat panel.


3-D structures’ vertical surfaces can collect much more sunlight during mornings, evenings and winters, when the sun is closer to the horizon



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Mkoll
 



While the cost of a given amount of energy generated by such 3-D modules exceeds that of ordinary flat panels, the expense is partially balanced by a much higher energy output for a given footprint,


They really discovered nothing. They discovered that more panels generate more energy. That is a no-brainer. They then discovered that to get more panels on the same footprint, they must go vertical. No brainer. They then discovered that an accordian or folding style of panels has more surface area facing the direct and indirect rays than a flat vertical surface of a cube. Again, no brainer.

This should be a disgrace for a research icon like M.I.T. They used computer algorithms to determine what my 5 year old could have deducted in about 20 minutes next to the swimming pool?



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by calnorak
If I won the mega millions jackpot, I would create a solar and other renewable energy based plant.


Can I ask for this ? Pretty please free energy for all.
Cheap solar ?



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Yup, it's a no-brainer AFTER someone discovers it.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by Nicolas Flamel
 


I have always thought they should build them like tree leaves...



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by pirhanna
 


Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy needs to be done. Besides the environmental reasons, fossil fuels will eventually run out.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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13 year old makes Solar Power breakthrough.

Now, this one is interesting, because the most evolved natural case of solar power in nature, would be a tree. So, it makes sense that trees would have evolved the most efficient way to harness solar power, and it turns out that is correct.


The US has enough wasted rooftop space to power the whole country, without a need for long transmission lines, and without a need to waste real estate in expensive solar farms. Plus, if flat solar panels, facing the appropriate degree southward were put on all existing rooftops, it would have the added effect of cooling the rooftops and causing less energy to be used on air-conditioning in the hotter, sunnier climates.

Instead of spending large dollars on researching this silliness, they should have spent it justifying the need for rooftop solar farms, and lobbying Congress to subsidize the existing projects and take our power grid into the modern era!



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by Mkoll
 


Yes it is an efficiency graph, one of the design elements is that the structure is better able to catch diffuse light such as that found under cloudy conditions.

much information can be found here in this PDF
Solar Energy Generation in Three Dimensions: Supplementary Information



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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I use an in-door light bulb to keep my panels (20watts combined) energized 24/7/365.

One problem I encountered was how much energy my inverter draws while under a slight load, (light bulb).

I expect the monetary value of regulators and storage devices to make oil sound appealing...

Now maybe my coffee maker will work!

Or not.

edit on (3/28/1212 by loveguy because:




posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by abeverage
 


As i am in the solar power industry i can tell you that this idea ALREADY exists.. and has just been upscaled


The Sanyo HIT( soon to be Panasonic) technology it is a flat solar panel with pyramidal structures all along the flat panel..... ridges so that light can bounce of and still be collected from ridge to ridge... the performance increase is negligable for the price.. but this Upscaling seems to produce much better results

if its twice as much as conventional monchrystaline panels then it will be a big boost!....

If its 20 times as much , the worlds energy problems have just been solved.. i am dubious about this 20 times claim but we shall see...

20 times more efficient per panel , would make each panel 5KW ??!??!, a home with 10 of these on is a 50 KW system? currently u need about 16 panels to produce a 4KW system that always performs well under the 4KW specification,

Although Solar is great and i am in the industry.. the tech is not quite their yet... i hope this solves the problem...

QS


edit on 28/3/12 by Quantum_Squirrel because: (no reason given)



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