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3d Nanotube Solar Panel

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posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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www.physorg.com...

Unique three-dimensional solar cells that capture nearly all of the light that strikes them could boost the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) systems while reducing their size, weight and mechanical complexity.

The new 3D solar cells capture photons from sunlight using an array of miniature "tower" structures that resemble high-rise buildings in a city street grid. The cells could find near-term applications for powering spacecraft, and by enabling efficiency improvements in photovoltaic coating materials, could also change the way solar cells are designed for a broad range of applications.

"Our goal is to harvest every last photon that is available to our cells," said Jud Ready, a senior research engineer in the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). "By capturing more of the light in our 3D structures, we can use much smaller photovoltaic arrays. On a satellite or other spacecraft, that would mean less weight and less space taken up with the PV system."


Very interesting innovation of PV panels. The thing I found extremely important about this discovery was the fact that the efficiency of the cells increase as the sunlight goes away from being perpendicular. I assume that is due to the city-like grid structures the panels resemble at the Nanoscale. I would love to see an imagine of that. I've been looking but all I can find is that picture above. If anyone else can find a nanoscale imagine of this device, I would be eternally grateful.


EDIT: Added Link

[edit on 12-4-2007 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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This is definately a step in the right direction.

I presume the reason why these cells collect more energy while the sunlight is on an angle towards it is because you will collide with more material travelling 45 degrees to it, than you would going straight on.

-\-----|- The diagonal line intersects more of
---\---|- the space than the vertical line.
-----\-|- Intersection of more space within the cell would ammount to more solar energy being in contact with the PV system.

At least I'm assuming thats why.

Do we know exactly how much of the solar energy is converted into electrical energy? Ie, what's its efficiency?



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 08:46 PM
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"We have demonstrated that we can extract electrons using this approach," Ready said. "Now we need to get a good baseline to see where we compare to existing materials, how to optimize this and what’s needed to advance this technology."


It seems they haven't conducted full scale efficiency tests and comparisons, though their stated goal is to harness all the photons that hits the surface. Hopefully they can go from this Proof of Concept to an actual full scale prototype quickly. Maximizing the efficiency of Solar Panels before the end of the decade now seems somewhat feasible now. I hope so at least. I'm crossing my fingers as the Solar Panel upgrade cycle wasn't looking too appealing to me for my home.

www.gatech.edu...

[edit on 12-4-2007 by sardion2000]


apc

posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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While reading this I thought of a great way to relate this technology to a layperson...

"Ok. Imagine these solar cells are the World Trade Center. And the photons are a bunch of terrorists..."

Terrible I know...



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by apc
While reading this I thought of a great way to relate this technology to a layperson...

"Ok. Imagine these solar cells are the World Trade Center. And the photons are a bunch of terrorists..."

Terrible I know...



Hahahaha, that was funny in a twisted way.




As for the article, I am happy to see further developments in Solar power,
as it is one of the best alternative enery sources there is on a large scale,
by that I mean not just on Earth.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 05:21 PM
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I believe that the reason these solar cells catch more sunlight is actually that when the light enters at an angle the photons bouce back and forth between the tower until they are absorbed


|\---|
|-\--|
|--\-|
|---\|
|---/|
|--/-|
|-/--|
|/---|
|\---|and so on and so on
|-\--|
|--\-|
|---\|
|---/|
|--/-|
|-/--|
|/---|
hitting a flat surface equals 1 chance to absorb say 20%
bouncing back and forth even 2 times like above equals 4 chances to absorb 20% which gives about = 59.24% efficiency

That would also explain why incident light is better absorbed at an angle as incident light that is perpendicular to teh surface would be the same as hitting a flat surface.

[edit on 13-4-2007 by brandothe2nd]



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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The big question regarding this form of solar tech is...is the total sum of solar P.V. energy collected throughout a nano-arrays working lifspan greater than the sum of the energy required to produce each array? That can be the only true indicator of whether this will be a revolutionary step in solar-harvesting efficiency



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 07:52 PM
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No one is saying this is a big breakthrough. I would consider it a big breakthrough if they were to Maximize efficiency of solar panels in full scale tests. People have been saying it would take decades to achieve this, yet with this technology, it now seems to be just around the corner. That would be one BIG obstacle down. The fact that it doesn't need to sun tracking base also works in it's favor big time.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 08:21 PM
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I really think that solar power is about to be useless to a point if all this is true.
The reason I say that is because of Steorn. Free energy for everyone.
www.steorn.com...
Here's more on the subject of free energy.
www.engadget.com...

www.youtube.com...
english.ohmynews.com...



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 08:36 PM
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There are several threads about this so-called "Free Energy" source on this board.

Here is one. Please post this there.


Remember that Irish company claiming they had developed free energy?

[edit on 13-4-2007 by sardion2000]


apc

posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 09:17 PM
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Yeah if "free energy" were truly viable nature would have done it on its own a long time ago. Solar is definitely the way to go. There is too much energy in sunlight to ignore. Billions of years of plant evolution can't be wrong.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:21 PM
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Just stating my opinion.

You go with solar energy and I'll put my money on free energy.
And yes, freedom of speech gives me the right to say what I want even if it's on your post. I will abide by ATS rules of course.
Don't get me wrong, I'm just stating my opinion. I know that solar power is used today for heating water, swimming pools, cooking, electricity, road side emergency telephones, satellites, spacecraft etc...
But free energy will alow us to venture into space with unlimited energy. No sun around, no problem. No more recharging your cell phones and laptop computers. Solar power is a great source of clean energy for now, but if this free energy becomes reality then technology is going to boom at a faster rate than ever before in our history. Sorry man I'm just excited about this and if it's all a bunch of crap then woe is me. If it's true then my money is going to be invested in some of that free energy stock for retirement.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:26 PM
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Well, depending on your definition, Solar Power can be considered
free energy.

You do not have to create an artificial reaction, you have huge amounts
of it available, and has a continuous output for a few billion more years.

[edit on 4/13/2007 by iori_komei]



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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What's "free energy" to you?

I've been following Steorn. Promising, but it seems more like a big publicity stunt. No evidence yet, so no conclusions. I guess we can only wait.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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Solar power is unlimited but also unpredictable. We've had an ice age on earth. Volcanoes can block out our solar sun and kill us. But with free energy we might survive something like that. If for some reason the earth decides to quit on us and stop spinning or the core malfunctions and we have to leave our home planet to find another, free energy is the answer. Lets hope that never happens.

Our Sun is the only power we have for now and has kept us alive and warm. I hope it sticks around for awhile longer. Like a billion years longer.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:56 PM
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If you put large solar arrays in orbit, you would not have the problem
of things happening on Earth, just saying.


As for spacecraft, when we do build starships we will most likely use
fusion generators, or hopefully not, fission generators.



posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Solarskye
Solar power is unlimited but also unpredictable. We've had an ice age on earth. Volcanoes can block out our solar sun and kill us. But with free energy we might survive something like that. If for some reason the earth decides to quit on us and stop spinning or the core malfunctions and we have to leave our home planet to find another, free energy is the answer. Lets hope that never happens.

Our Sun is the only power we have for now and has kept us alive and warm. I hope it sticks around for awhile longer. Like a billion years longer.

So a bunch of guys are going to chant and free energy is going to appear in front of us?



posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
What's "free energy" to you?

I've been following Steorn. Promising, but it seems more like a big publicity stunt. No evidence yet, so no conclusions. I guess we can only wait.


Free energy to me is energy that doesn't have to be stocked, restocked or fead an energy source. 3D Solar Panels needs the sun to work. Solar cells is a type of free energy but I believe all this technology is being surpressed by the governments and oil companys, electrical companies etc...
So many companies can lose all that money their making from us and will do anything to stop free energy from becoming reality.

Einstein and Otto Stern even experimented with free energy/zero point energy.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 12:14 AM
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And yes, freedom of speech gives me the right to say what I want even if it's on your post. I will abide by ATS rules of course.


Am I wrong in thinking that turning a discussion about a specific innovation into a debate about Solar Energy vs Free Energy is going Off-Topic?

[edit on 14-4-2007 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Am I wrong in thinking that turning a discussion about a specific innovation into a debate about Solar Energy vs Free Energy is going Off-Topic?


No, no you are not.



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