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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."
"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."
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...
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.
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.
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.