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:12/20/2016)... RALEIGH, N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 ... performance biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today ... scalable development kit for biometric wearables that includes ... integrated with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Canada and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , ... a leading global financial services provider, today announced an agreement ... passive behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable ... mitigation strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in mobile ... market" The mobile biometrics market is expected to grow ... billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% between ... such as the growing demand for smart devices, government ... "Software component is expected to grow at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 19, 2017 Research and ... has announced the addition ... - Material, Application - Forecast to 2025" report to ... The report provides a detailed analysis on current ... Market forecasts till 2025, using estimated market values as the base numbers ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today announced ... Ph.D., as chief executive officer, as well as ... brings to ArmaGen more than 17 years of ... development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... diverse experience and skillset necessary to lead ArmaGen ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci ... an exponential rate. The tremendous growth is accounted to two main factors. ... table and the expanding network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around the world. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Acupath Laboratories, Inc., a leading provider ... an Executive Committee that will guide the company,s vision ... John Cucci , a 15-year veteran of the anatomic ... Development to Chief Sales Officer .  Prior to ... senior sales leadership roles at several leading lab industry ...
Breaking Biology Technology: