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(International Science Times)   MIT researchers find a way to capture heat energy as well as light energy in solar cell experiments. Sure, you need to focus the solar energy until it hits 962 degrees Celsius, but after that--BAM   (isciencetimes.com) divider line 25
    More: Interesting, solar energy, luminous energies, MIT, Nature Nanotechnology, Miami Heat, solar cells, carbon nanotubes, sunlight  
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1331 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Jan 2014 at 12:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



25 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-21 12:21:51 PM  
I hope we're still subsidizing this kind of innovation.
 
2014-01-21 12:50:03 PM  
It is certainly interesting research, but at this point we've created a stable, long-life energy producing technology that doesn't really need any more efficiency upgrades. Even the product is almost dirt cheap these days (relative to payback). What solar energy needs is a proper nationwide installation, permitting standards and regulations.

A majority of the cost involved with solar has to do with installation now, not equipment costs or longevity. A typical home's rooftop has more than enough space for PV to power all your needs for household and electric vehicles.
 
2014-01-21 12:50:52 PM  
Piece of cake.

prepforshtf.com

(he may actually be baking a cake)
 
2014-01-21 12:53:48 PM  

MrSteve007: It is certainly interesting research, but at this point we've created a stable, long-life energy producing technology that doesn't really need any more efficiency upgrades. Even the product is almost dirt cheap these days (relative to payback). What solar energy needs is a proper nationwide installation, permitting standards and regulations.

A majority of the cost involved with solar has to do with installation now, not equipment costs or longevity. A typical home's rooftop has more than enough space for PV to power all your needs for household and electric vehicles.


Why would you stop doing research on how to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics?  You know you can upgrade technology while improving implementation at the same time.
 
2014-01-21 12:56:15 PM  

MrSteve007: It is certainly interesting research, but at this point we've created a stable, long-life energy producing technology that doesn't really need any more efficiency upgrades. Even the product is almost dirt cheap these days (relative to payback). What solar energy needs is a proper nationwide installation, permitting standards and regulations.

A majority of the cost involved with solar has to do with installation now, not equipment costs or longevity. A typical home's rooftop has more than enough space for PV to power all your needs for household and electric vehicles.


Price per watt installed is still around $5 in the US right? But the actual cost of panels and hardware is a lot less, I've priced modules and equipment online recently.

I'm not going to get on my own roof, and since I'm in PA I'm barely-there in terms of payback for the size of system I would need. But if I had land to put them, or a flat roof? I'd have an array up soon.
 
2014-01-21 12:56:55 PM  
assets.inhabitat.com
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2014-01-21 01:03:31 PM  
Okay, when you actually have a functioning device get back to us, otherwise not impressed.  Producing 3.2% efficiency is equivalent to a malfunctioning PV panel.
 
2014-01-21 01:09:30 PM  
admintell.napco.com

Watch out for the satellite based weapons
 
2014-01-21 01:16:28 PM  
Came for the Fallout reference. Wasn't disappointed.
 
2014-01-21 01:33:43 PM  

LasersHurt: Price per watt installed is still around $5 in the US right? But the actual cost of panels and hardware is a lot less, I've priced modules and equipment online recently.


That isn't too far off for the US. Price per watt in the US in 2012 was about that. However, through consistent regulations and permitting, Germany is down to $2.24 installed.

At sub $2.50 a watt, installed, rooftop solar is cheaper than grid power - especially when you factor in inflation.
 
2014-01-21 01:38:44 PM  
These work pretty well:
www.econavigator.org
 
2014-01-21 03:31:21 PM  
so they sunk a peltier junction to the back of a solar cell and tied it in parralel?
 
2014-01-21 03:32:13 PM  
Logggur: Why would you stop doing research on how to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics?  You know you can upgrade technology while improving implementation at the same time.

I think what he is getting at is the law of diminishing returns.
 
2014-01-21 03:39:12 PM  
i.imgur.com
MIT engineers created a solar power device (not pictured) that more efficiently captures the sun's various rays of light and turns it into energy.
 
2014-01-21 04:10:53 PM  

HeadLever: Logggur: Why would you stop doing research on how to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics?  You know you can upgrade technology while improving implementation at the same time.

I think what he is getting at is the law of diminishing returns.


It's more of the economics involved. We invented solar cells with efficiency greater than 40% efficiency decades ago. We read about "Solar Power Technology Breakthrough!" about every other week. Those are great, and may even be marketable in select industries (say satellite power systems). But what is more beneficial to the average consumer:

- A 40% efficient ultra high tech, completely unproven longevity, low volume solar product that ends up costing some $80 a watt?

- A boring, run of the mill, $1 a watt standard photovoltaic solar panel that is proven to last at least 3-decades and will likely last many more?

As I said before, there's more than enough energy that falls on the rooftop of a typical household to power all of its annual household needs and EV transportation . . . using standard PV panels. Why in the world should we focus on efficiency improvements, when instead we should focus of leveraging economy of scale of production, and streamline government regulation & permitting across jurisdictions to reduce prices on a product that works perfectly for the average American.

For the majority of the US, putting up solar power on the rooftop is cheaper than buying power from the utility.
 
2014-01-21 06:08:02 PM  

HeadLever: Logggur: Why would you stop doing research on how to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics?  You know you can upgrade technology while improving implementation at the same time.

I think what he is getting at is the law of diminishing returns.


I think he wants to keep the Obelisk of Light all to himself. Out yourself, Kane!
 
2014-01-21 06:13:00 PM  
At sub $2.50 a watt, installed, rooftop solar is cheaper than grid power - especially when you factor in inflation.

Still no economical means of storing it. Won't become a substitute for grid power until we have a means of storing it for nightime use.

Now, if they could come up with a photovoltaic cell that can generate power from gamma ray photons, nuclear waste will become a goldmine...
 
2014-01-21 06:23:50 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: so they sunk a peltier junction to the back of a solar cell and tied it in parralel?


I was thinking sodium battery.
 
2014-01-21 07:16:12 PM  
When this baby hits 962℃ you're gonna see some serious shiat
 
2014-01-21 08:19:38 PM  

ajgeek: Cerebral Knievel: so they sunk a peltier junction to the back of a solar cell and tied it in parralel?

I was thinking sodium battery.


from what little bt I looked up on sodium-ion batteries... they aint ready for prime time..  if you are talking about sodium as a heat sink to store thermal energy? then that is proven tech for that type of thermal activity.

I was thinking of peltier junctions.. solid state heat pumps.. the things that are used to make USB coffee warmers or cola chillers work, and are the basis of those camp stove / cell phone chargers they have now.

add DC power and they make cold on one side and hot on the other, add heat or cold to the respective surface and they MAKE DC current.

a lot of solar panels tend to get quite hot due to the fact that you are constantly pointing the damn things right at the friggen sun.  so why NOT, slap a peltier junction on the back side of the panel? tie the out put of the PV panel to the PJ and see what happens?

sounds like what the MIT kids are trying to do but with much fancier and expensive materials

or have I missed the point? and if my crazy ass scheme has glaring flaws I would like a more wizened farker to let me know how or why I may be a dumb ass for suggesting such a hair-brained scheme.
 
2014-01-21 09:38:33 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: ajgeek: Cerebral Knievel: so they sunk a peltier junction to the back of a solar cell and tied it in parralel?

I was thinking sodium battery.

from what little bt I looked up on sodium-ion batteries... they aint ready for prime time..  if you are talking about sodium as a heat sink to store thermal energy? then that is proven tech for that type of thermal activity.

I was thinking of peltier junctions.. solid state heat pumps.. the things that are used to make USB coffee warmers or cola chillers work, and are the basis of those camp stove / cell phone chargers they have now.

add DC power and they make cold on one side and hot on the other, add heat or cold to the respective surface and they MAKE DC current.

a lot of solar panels tend to get quite hot due to the fact that you are constantly pointing the damn things right at the friggen sun.  so why NOT, slap a peltier junction on the back side of the panel? tie the out put of the PV panel to the PJ and see what happens?

sounds like what the MIT kids are trying to do but with much fancier and expensive materials

or have I missed the point? and if my crazy ass scheme has glaring flaws I would like a more wizened farker to let me know how or why I may be a dumb ass for suggesting such a hair-brained scheme.


Peltiers have limited value. Their voltage is proportional to the temperature difference and their current is roughly proportional to the bulk of atoms at the junction. The current is typically a trickle at most practical sizes. The energy transferred as electricity is just a tiny fraction of what is transferred via heat conduction. Peltiers are relatively efficient at cooling things, especially when volume and noise are concerns. They are very inefficient, compared to readily available alternatives, at creating electricity.
 
2014-01-21 10:38:11 PM  
GentDirkly:
Peltiers have limited value. Their voltage is proportional to the temperature difference and their current is roughly proportional to the bulk of atoms at the junction. The current is typically a trickle at most practical sizes. The energy transferred as electricity is just a tiny fraction of what is transferred via heat conduction. Peltiers are relatively efficient at cooling things, especially when volume and noise are concerns. They are very inefficient, compared to readily available alternatives, at creating electricity.

Thank you for that bit of explanation!
 
2014-01-22 12:01:42 AM  

Cerebral Knievel: from what little bt I looked up on sodium-ion batteries... they aint ready for prime time.. if you are talking about sodium as a heat sink to store thermal energy? then that is proven tech for that type of thermal activity.


Yeah, that's where I was going. At that temperature I think sodium emits IR which can be absorbed. It would allow for either a) turning a steam turbine during peak hours and or b) keeping the energy steadily flowing all hours of the day as the sodium cools into the panels.
 
2014-01-22 02:39:26 AM  

mark12A: Still no economical means of storing it. Won't become a substitute for grid power until we have a means of storing it for nightime use.


If only there was a way to get people to invest in adding huge lithium ion batteries to their homes and offices - preferably in a place close to the electrical panel, like a garage . . .
 
2014-01-22 12:14:18 PM  
gnosis301 [TotalFark]


I hope we're still subsidizing this kind of innovation.

Were they donors to the administrations campaign?
www.ff.org
 
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