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New energy technologies promise brighter future
Date:11/19/2012

otential of the earth could be harvested with 75 percent efficiency, it would generate more energy per unit area than a fixed orientation solar cell located in a prime solar location," said study co-author Subramanian Krishnan.

Rectenna components (antenna and rectifier) used to recapture wasted IR radiation is developed from the decades old concept of using the wave nature of light rather than its thermal effect. Recent advances in nanotechnology have made possible the harvesting of solar energy by rectenna more viable, they said. Recent research has shown that rectenna can be developed at IR frequencies with existing technology and used for IR energy conversion.

For co-author Elias Stefanokos, the approach of using a rectenna in combination with a plasmonic blackbody emitter would improve efficiency of all systems.

"This research will significantly increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells, at little added cost, by integrating the plasmonic emitter with the cell," said Stefanokos.

Their paper presents the current state-of-the-art in the field of rectenna-based conversion with a focus on its critical components.

Nanotechnology solutions for greenhouse light

"Farmers are at the mercy of weather that can cause damage to their crops," wrote a team of physicists from the University of South Florida. "Consequently, greenhouse farming and urban agriculture are being looked at as a more efficient and cost effective way to grow produce."

Sarath Witanachchi, Marek Merlak and Prasanna Mahawela, of the USF Department of Physics, presented the specifics for a new nanophosphor-based electroluminesence lighting device that caters to the exact wavelengths of light required for photosynthesis in indoor, hydroponic agriculture. The new, nanotechnology-based grow light also has the potential to reduce energy costs significantly."

"Conventional technologies used in today's agriculture are inefficient a
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Contact: Judy Lowry
jhlowry@usf.edu
813-974-3181
University of South Florida (USF Innovation)
Source:Eurekalert

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