Navigation Links
New solar product captures up to 95 percent of light energy
Date:5/16/2011

Efficiency is a problem with today's solar panels; they only collect about 20 percent of available light. Now, a University of Missouri engineer has developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light, and he plans to make prototypes available to consumers within the next five years.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic (PV) methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum. The device his team has developed essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna can harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to a direct solar facing nantenna device capable of collecting solar irradiation in the near infrared and optical regions of the solar spectrum.

Working with his former team at the Idaho National Laboratory and Garrett Moddel, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Colorado, Pinhero and his team have now developed a way to extract electricity from the collected heat and sunlight using special high-speed electrical circuitry. This team also partners with Dennis Slafer of MicroContinuum, Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to immediately port laboratory bench-scale technologies into manufacturable devices that can be inexpensively mass-produced.

"Our overall goal is to collect and utilize as much solar energy as is theoretically possible and bring it to the commercial market in an inexpensive package that is accessible to everyone," Pinhero said. "If successful, this product will put us orders of magnitudes ahead of the current solar energy technologies we have available to us today."

As part of a rollout plan, the team is securing funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and private investors. The second phase features an energy-harvesting device for existing industrial infrastructure, including heat-process factories and solar farms.

Within five years, the research team believes they will have a product that complements conventional PV solar panels. Because it's a flexible film, Pinhero believes it could be incorporated into roof shingle products, or be custom-made to power vehicles.

Once the funding is secure, Pinhero envisions several commercial product spin-offs, including infrared (IR) detection. These include improved contraband-identifying products for airports and the military, optical computing, and infrared line-of-sight telecommunications.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Solar cells more efficient than photosynthesis -- for now
2. NRELs multi-junction solar cells teach scientists how to turn plants into powerhouses
3. MIT researchers use virus to improve solar-cell efficiency
4. Toward a more efficient use of solar energy
5. Switching to solar
6. Toward a green grid for delivering solar and wind-based electricity
7. UMD Solar Decathlon team unveils WaterShed
8. Size matters: Smaller particles could make solar panels more efficient
9. Neutron analysis yields insight into bacteria for solar energy
10. Solar greenhouses: Chinas winning solution to global energy crisis
11. Solar power systems could lighten the load for British soldiers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New solar product captures up to 95 percent of light energy
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant ... company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment ... as director of public safety business development. ... law enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation ... his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ALLENTOWN, Pa. , March 20, 2017 ... PD 2.0 personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a ... Company with a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions ... of life. With that intent focus, PMD developed the ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. ... Systems) ... the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced ... the sale of 12,835,490 shares of its common stock ... of companies. In connection with the sale of its common ... cash and issue to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated ... "We are pleased to enter into this ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial ... ... putting significant strain on health care systems, in terms of ... rises, so too does the development of innovative and efficient ... effects. Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... solutions, today announced the hire of Dr. Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as Vice President ... strategic partnerships and joint development activities. , “Dr. Floyd’s career has spanned 30 ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  UBM and the ... announce their extended partnership and the third annual Massachusetts ... by the 21 st Annual MassMEDIC Conference ... place May 3-4, 2017. MassMEDIC ... Association (ADVAMED) President and CEO, Scott Whitaker ...
Breaking Biology Technology: