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Old 07-11-2008, 07:48 PM #1
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Default See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Efficien

[link=http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/07/see-through-sol.html]http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/07/see-through-sol.html[/link]

This is really sweet. never would have thought to split up the light rays to different solar panels to increase efficiency

check out the link above for full story and pictures.

-Kendall


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Old 07-11-2008, 07:56 PM #2
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

Cool, though we should have listened to tesla, and we would all have free electricity.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:51 PM #3
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diachi
Cool, though we should have listened to tesla, and we would all have free electricity.
I was just about to say that!

...spooky.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:34 PM #4
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

what was the deal with tesla?

[link=http://peswiki.com/index.php/Reprint:Tesla%27s_Solar_Ideas]http://peswiki.com/index.php/Reprint:Tesla%27s_Solar_Ideas[/link]

ah crazy. I had no idea solar power energy was invented that long ago.... if only we would have done an industrial revolution with these solar fields instead of coal plants... whoops.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:31 AM #5
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

Quote:
It could capture some wavelengths of visible light and guide them to high-voltage solar cells on the edges of the array, while still allowing the infrared light that largely powers current solar systems to pass through.
Is this right?? I thought UV powered solar cells... :-?
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:40 AM #6
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

The light absorbed and converted into electricity depends on the bandgap of the material used. UV is ~4eV, which is definitely wide bandgap semiconductor, so something like gallium nitride. The cheapest and most commonly used solar cells are silicon, with a low bandgap around 1 to 1.2 eV, which is in the IR. Any light of higher energy/lower wavelength than that is just wasted, really.

It's a great analogy to lasers/LEDs, the light aborbed matches the bandgap, just as emitted light matches the bandgap. Solar cell = LED in reverse. But with LED, they're small, so we can use really efficient expensive stuff. Solar cells have to be huge, so we cant use the great, expensive stuff, we're stuck with crappy old silicon or newer thin film stuff that is quite promising (but not as the describe it in the article).
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:13 PM #7
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pullbangdead
The light absorbed and converted into electricity depends on the bandgap of the material used. *UV is ~4eV, which is definitely wide bandgap semiconductor, so something like gallium nitride. *The cheapest and most commonly used solar cells are silicon, with a low bandgap around 1 to 1.2 eV, which is in the IR. *Any light of higher energy/lower wavelength than that is just wasted, really.

It's a great analogy to lasers/LEDs, the light aborbed matches the bandgap, just as emitted light matches the bandgap. *Solar cell = LED in reverse. *But with LED, they're small, so we can use really efficient expensive stuff. *Solar cells have to be huge, so we cant use the great, expensive stuff, we're stuck with crappy old silicon or newer thin film stuff that is quite promising (but not as the describe it in the article).
Ahhh... I gotcha. Ya learn something new every day!
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:07 PM #8
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

Quote:
&quot;If they can solve the engineering issues, then this would very much help with the efficiency and cost of solar cells,&quot;
i love how they say &quot;engineering issues&quot; as if it was THAT easy.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:18 AM #9
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Default Re: See-Through Solar Hack Could Double Panel Effi

this is very similar to what we do at the company I work for except we are using a different method to concentrate the light. We are designing holographic gratings that diffract the light towards the cells in the panel and all the cells are bifacial so we get some power from the backside reflection as well. concentrators are a hot topic in the solar industry right now because the efficiency rises as the concentration of light on the cell rises, to a point of course, and this also allows the use of less silicon which will drive the price of panels down a fair bit. Here's an overview of our technology if anyone is interested: http://prismsolar.com/technology.html
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