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(Phys Org2)   Scientists invent highly transparent solar cells for windows. Spokesman Paul Moller says takeover of solar power just 10 years away, they just need a few investors   (phys.org) divider line 88
    More: Obvious, electricity, solar energy, conversion efficiency, green buildings, solar cells, visible spectra, photovoltaics, electrical current  
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4523 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Jul 2012 at 11:26 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-22 05:58:49 AM
Still waiting

i1189.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-22 06:05:26 AM
This settles it, our species is awesome.
 
2012-07-22 07:19:30 AM
The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.
 
2012-07-22 07:40:58 AM
Great choice of spokesman.
 
2012-07-22 07:50:11 AM

labman: Great choice of spokesman.


is your sarcasm detector on the fritz?
 
2012-07-22 08:25:19 AM
That's great, but don't roofs usually get more sunshine than windows?
 
2012-07-22 09:46:53 AM

Happy Hours: That's great, but don't roofs usually get more sunshine than windows?


And the ones on the roof are close to 4 times more efficient, but think bigger... Glass office tower bigger.

The article mostly talked about device applications anyway, so we are a long way out from building applications.
 
2012-07-22 11:42:04 AM
Nice, but of course they will be exceedingly inefficient. There are not very many photons in the infrared region.
 
2012-07-22 11:42:41 AM
Isn't the whole point of the solar cell to absorb light? Solar power is cool and all, we should definitely be making more use of it than we are. But the best bet right now is something like the bloom box. Basically a natural gas energy cell. And natural gas is fairly easy to make, too.
 
2012-07-22 11:43:31 AM
Haha suck it linux users, no support for you!
 
2012-07-22 11:49:23 AM
Moller did sell the hell out of Supertrapps, I'll give him that. They pretty much had the street/dirt 4 stroke market cornered by the time Kerker bought them out.
 
2012-07-22 11:50:49 AM
4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.
 
2012-07-22 11:51:25 AM

Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.


If they use petroleum to produce these polymers then this could be the biggest thing to happen for the oil industry. Imagine every window in the work brought to you by the oil industry.
 
2012-07-22 11:55:25 AM

Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.


Yeah, just like the coal companies never let oil happen in 1859.
 
2012-07-22 12:02:09 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.


FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.
 
2012-07-22 12:05:39 PM

Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.


That's about what it is for plants.
Of course, they make up for it in volume.
 
2012-07-22 12:07:35 PM

Honest Bender: Isn't the whole point of the solar cell to absorb light? Solar power is cool and all, we should definitely be making more use of it than we are. But the best bet right now is something like the bloom box. Basically a natural gas energy cell. And natural gas is fairly easy to make, too.


TFA says it converts IR, not visible. Hopefully there is enough InGaAs to make a lot of these. Then there will be a whole sub-industry to convert the DC to synced 60Hz, but do it in a way that is small and unoffensive to the eye since these could conceivable be on every window.
 
2012-07-22 12:15:49 PM
Katolu:
The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

It's always pretty funny when I read things like this, because the people who make that sort of claim don't seem to know that there are more than enough companies of all sorts that can make it happen - and they're usually the same companies as the one you seem to think have such amazing power.

It's like that whole "the oil companies won't let alternative fuels develop thing: Who do you think would be distributing the "new" fuels? A bunch of nobodies who come up with the tech, or the multi-billion-dollar industry that already has a massive infrastructure designed to haul around flammable liquids and gases?

An efficient and easily-installed solar power system would be stacked up by the pallet at Home Depot for the weekend handymen - if someone could make one that's really that good. The problem isn't the solar cells - it's all of the other stuff, like installation and power management. Right now, it costs more to install a system (with wiring and battery storage) than it does to make the cells...
 
2012-07-22 12:18:14 PM

Honest Bender: Isn't the whole point of the solar cell to absorb light? Solar power is cool and all, we should definitely be making more use of it than we are. But the best bet right now is something like the bloom box. Basically a natural gas energy cell. And natural gas is fairly easy to make, too.


Damn straight, my coworkers hate to agree...
 
2012-07-22 12:24:51 PM
I invented a car that runs on bald eagle heads.
 
2012-07-22 12:37:20 PM

Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.


Exactly, and neither is electricity for what fossil fuels can do. But you have to admit oil has more energy density and oil powered warships did displace coal fired ships. Churchill did that.

I'm just trying to show that there is no vast shadowy conspiracy preventing solar energy from "taking over". It just can't compete on any level with what oil has. It never will, unless you build solar-powered coal conversion plants. Hello 100$/gallon gasoline.
 
2012-07-22 12:45:34 PM

Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.


It's a big step up from the current 0% efficiency.
 
2012-07-22 12:54:11 PM

Honest Bender: Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.

It's a big step up from the current 0% efficiency.


If it is as cheap as regular glass then yes. Otherwise it is way down on the totem pole.
 
2012-07-22 12:55:24 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.

Exactly, and neither is electricity for what fossil fuels can do. But you have to admit oil has more energy density and oil powered warships did displace coal fired ships. Churchill did that.

I'm just trying to show that there is no vast shadowy conspiracy preventing solar energy from "taking over". It just can't compete on any level with what oil has. It never will, unless you build solar-powered coal conversion plants. Hello 100$/gallon gasoline.


I think the original jab was more related to the actions of oil companies against the early development of electric cars. A good example of this is Chevron's ownership of patents relating of NiMH batteries. Chevron wanted to make money on them in a way that would not harm their petroleum business. To do this they limited the size of NiMH batteries. That is why NiMH took off in the rechargeable battery market, but went nowhere with cars. There was clearly demand for it. The Toyota Prius used NiMH, but in order to work around the patent rules they literally had to make their battery packs out of dozens of little batteries. This was not necessary because of engineering - they could have used massive cells - instead they were hampered by the weight of many individual cells and additional complexity of correcting voltage.
 
2012-07-22 01:29:33 PM

Hollie Maea: Honest Bender: Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.

It's a big step up from the current 0% efficiency.

If it is as cheap as regular glass then yes. Otherwise it is way down on the totem pole.


I'm an engineer. You're complaining about marketing.
 
2012-07-22 01:34:54 PM

Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.


Why not? They are still in the business of selling power. Doesn't matter to them how they sell it. Can you make solar panels for free in your back yard? Where will you get them from?
 
2012-07-22 01:43:30 PM

Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.


Even if we stopped using Oil to power things (i.e. zero petrol usage and the like) Exxon and BP and all the others would still be rolling around in money and making more hand over fist. Half of these green tech seems to make use of polymers and other assorted plastics... which use oil.

For the likes of those companies the future looks exceptionally bright.
 
2012-07-22 01:43:51 PM
Here's what I don't get: if the solar cells neither absorb nor reflect sunlight (and they must not, because if they did then they wouldn't be transparent), then how are they able to absorb energy from it?
 
2012-07-22 01:50:07 PM

Millennium: Here's what I don't get: if the solar cells neither absorb nor reflect sunlight (and they must not, because if they did then they wouldn't be transparent), then how are they able to absorb energy from it?


They do absorb light. Infrared light. This is light you don't see, hence the transparency (well, 70% transparency)
 
2012-07-22 01:51:28 PM

Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.


Holy revisionism batman!
 
2012-07-22 02:01:36 PM

cirby: Katolu:
The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

It's always pretty funny when I read things like this, because the people who make that sort of claim don't seem to know that there are more than enough companies of all sorts that can make it happen - and they're usually the same companies as the one you seem to think have such amazing power.


Climatologists now control a 250 billion a year budget globally. They dominate the liberal media where for example the BBC presents climatism as an undeniable fact. Every academic institution in the western world now puts a warming-scare spin on their papers and most political parties in US and EU put it in their manifesto. State education now indoctrinates this BS into the heads of children. You cannot work in TV, journalism, research or politics without agreeing to this stuff. Massive tracts of land are covered in wind turbines, while ordinary people are being driven into energy poverty by the millions. All the money is going from taxpayers to climatology businesses, corrupt politicians and land-owners, and there's no means-testing, so this represents a regressive tax on the poor to subsidise the rich and powerful.

What were you saying about amazing power again?
 
2012-07-22 02:05:22 PM

madgonad: Quantum Apostrophe: Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.

Exactly, and neither is electricity for what fossil fuels can do. But you have to admit oil has more energy density and oil powered warships did displace coal fired ships. Churchill did that.

I'm just trying to show that there is no vast shadowy conspiracy preventing solar energy from "taking over". It just can't compete on any level with what oil has. It never will, unless you build solar-powered coal conversion plants. Hello 100$/gallon gasoline.

I think the original jab was more related to the actions of oil companies against the early development of electric cars. A good example of this is Chevron's ownership of patents relating of NiMH batteries. Chevron wanted to make money on them in a way that would not harm their petroleum business. To do this they limited the size of NiMH batteries.


I'm pretty sure the courts would not allow Chevron to enforce their patent that way. There have to be reasonable licensing terms.

Don't you think the fact that no suitable batter has actually been invented yet might be important?

Or do you just always reason that "bad thing -> corporation's fault" in all situations like some sort of simplistic automaton.
 
2012-07-22 02:05:27 PM

THE GREAT NAME: Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.

Holy revisionism batman!


That's not revisionism. Petroleum put the whaling industry out of business, not coal.
 
2012-07-22 02:08:07 PM

THE GREAT NAME: Climatologists now control a 250 billion a year budget globally.


This caught me off guard, usually this kind of derp comes helpfully packaged in green text.
 
2012-07-22 02:09:35 PM
About fuggin time.
 
2012-07-22 02:10:31 PM

StoneColdAtheist: THE GREAT NAME: Hollie Maea: Quantum Apostrophe: Katolu: The oil, natural gas, coal, and electric corporations will never let this hapen. Sigh.

Yeah, just like the coal whale companies never let oil happen in 1859.

FTFY. Oil was not a competitor to coal at the time. Still isn't, for that matter.

Holy revisionism batman!

That's not revisionism. Petroleum put the whaling industry out of business, not coal.


Coal may have survived, but oil is and was most definitely a competitor in the most important sector. To claim otherwise is ridiculous politically-motivated revisionism (reminds me of the attempts to talk down the importance of the global cooling scare of the early 70s)

By the way, speaking as an atheist myself, I think you should change your moniker, as you have clearly embraced the religion of Gaia.
 
2012-07-22 02:11:34 PM
This looks like it could have some really cool applications on car windows and sunglasses in terms of the tinting provided (granted, for sunglasses you'd still want polarized plastic or glass underneath).
While 4% doesn't seem that good, if it's installed over a large enough area (sliding glass door? large windows) and is cheap enough, it could be a really economical way to power electronics. (yes, I too would love to see exactly how much power per square foot it could generate, but graduating college means I no longer have access to the actual publications with more in-depth analysis :-/ ).
 
2012-07-22 02:22:47 PM

theorellior: THE GREAT NAME: Climatologists now control a 250 billion a year budget globally.

This caught me off guard, usually this kind of derp comes helpfully packaged in green text.


The World Bank reports 126 billion US$ for carbon trading alone in 2008. Government funding in EU states is in the tens of billions in each country. Hell WWF alone took 238 million in revenues in 2011, and that's just one of the international NGOs.
 
2012-07-22 02:24:14 PM
Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.
 
2012-07-22 02:28:29 PM

Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.


We're talking about an infinite rain of photons from the sky. 4% efficiency will "get it done" until someone invents 4.01% efficiency for the same application.

I mean, 1% interest on your savings account sucks, too. But I don't think you'd object to getting 1% of Warren Buffett's net worth, for free, forever.
 
2012-07-22 02:29:43 PM

sno man: Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.


Do they generate these outputs all the time, or just when there is direct, unoccluded sunlight landing on them perpendicularly and without having passed through too much atmosphere?
 
2012-07-22 02:31:10 PM

semiotix: Torsoheap: 4% efficiency is not likely to get it done.

We're talking about an infinite rain of photons from the sky.


You might be. Some of us remain in the realms of reality, however.
 
2012-07-22 02:33:04 PM

sno man: Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.


But you can't put standard cells on the entire exterior of a high rise. 4% efficiency plus a little tint plus filtering the IR portion of the spectrum, which I'd think would reduce cooling costs a bit, is pretty darn good. Assuming reasonable lifespan and installation costs, etc.
 
2012-07-22 02:35:12 PM
There's a reason why I have a certain threadshiatter Farkied as "FFS".
 
2012-07-22 02:35:59 PM

THE GREAT NAME: sno man: Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.

Do they generate these outputs all the time, or just when there is direct, unoccluded sunlight landing on them perpendicularly and without having passed through too much atmosphere?


Doesn't need the perfect conditions you imply, but yea, they work better the more sun they can get. A simple tracking array will put out pretty steady power most of the day. Clouds diminish output, and night time kinda hits hard on the numbers too.
 
2012-07-22 02:36:41 PM

Millennium: Here's what I don't get: if the solar cells neither absorb nor reflect sunlight (and they must not, because if they did then they wouldn't be transparent), then how are they able to absorb energy from it?


Hollie Maea: Nice, but of course they will be exceedingly inefficient. There are not very many photons in the infrared region.


Not compared to the wavelengths that traditional photovoltaics use, no. But think of a glass skyscraper in, say, Houston. These buildings cost an arm and a leg to keep cool. To cut down on the A/C bill, these windows are already smoked, probably more than 30%, actually. So, if you could do this building-wide, you'd be harvesting the "heat me up" to create electricity that would otherwise be costing you electricity.

Now, who knows if this is the company that's going to make it a thing, or if there isn't an obvious next step that will make v.2.0 44% efficient. But there's really no such thing as a bad innovation in solar power.
 
2012-07-22 02:37:35 PM

ChubbyTiger: sno man: Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.

But you can't put standard cells on the entire exterior of a high rise. 4% efficiency plus a little tint plus filtering the IR portion of the spectrum, which I'd think would reduce cooling costs a bit, is pretty darn good. Assuming reasonable lifespan and installation costs, etc.


A point I kinda made up at the top of the thread but with office buildings.
 
2012-07-22 02:38:02 PM
I would like to see far more money going to research solar power and other green power options. We know that someday we will run out of fossil fuels. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but it will happen.
 
2012-07-22 02:43:06 PM

semiotix: Millennium: Here's what I don't get: if the solar cells neither absorb nor reflect sunlight (and they must not, because if they did then they wouldn't be transparent), then how are they able to absorb energy from it?

Hollie Maea: Nice, but of course they will be exceedingly inefficient. There are not very many photons in the infrared region.

Not compared to the wavelengths that traditional photovoltaics use, no. But think of a glass skyscraper in, say, Houston. These buildings cost an arm and a leg to keep cool. To cut down on the A/C bill, these windows are already smoked, probably more than 30%, actually. So, if you could do this building-wide, you'd be harvesting the "heat me up" to create electricity that would otherwise be costing you electricity.

Now, who knows if this is the company that's going to make it a thing, or if there isn't an obvious next step that will make v.2.0 44% efficient. But there's really no such thing as a bad innovation in solar power.


Yea, when you start adding up the potential efficiencies, more light, so less lighting. less solar heating , so less air cooling, all the side effects easily add to the efficiency.
 
2012-07-22 02:49:28 PM

sno man: ChubbyTiger: sno man: Standard new panels are about 15% efficient, and generate about 275w. This, the same size, would be about 75w.

But you can't put standard cells on the entire exterior of a high rise. 4% efficiency plus a little tint plus filtering the IR portion of the spectrum, which I'd think would reduce cooling costs a bit, is pretty darn good. Assuming reasonable lifespan and installation costs, etc.

A point I kinda made up at the top of the thread but with office buildings.


And that's what I get for reading posts without paying attention to the authors. I blame lack of sleep and stupid quantities of coffee.
 
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