Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths

April 18, 2017 by  
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Waste heat could be a valuable source of energy – if only we could find a way to capture it efficiently. Now two Duke University researchers have a plan to do just that. They have developed a new thermophotovoltaic device that harvests energy from waste heat by capturing infrared wavelengths. Thermophotovoltaics could potentially change the way we generate energy in the future. Regular solar cells simply absorb visible light, but the technology from the Duke University team absorbs infrared light. The device is made with a metamaterial , or a synthetic material containing properties not accessible in natural materials, that enables it to efficiently take in and emit infrared light. Related: New metamaterial could allow us to generate solar power from heat 24 hours a day The team’s minuscule device is an “8 x 8 array of individually controllable pixels,” according to The Optical Society; each pixel is a mere 120 by 120 microns. Controlling those pixels with microelectromechanical systems, the researchers are able to change infrared emission properties rapidly in each pixel. The device can display patterns of infrared light at speeds of 100,000 times per second. In a statement, Duke University engineer Willie Padilla said, “Because the infrared energy emission, or intensity, is controllable, this new infrared emitter could provide a tailored way to collect and use energy from heat. There is a great deal of interest in utilizing waste heat, and our technology could improve this process.” The device’s materials don’t even change temperature as they harness heat, so it can be utilized at room temperature. Many other methods of variable infrared emission need high temperatures to operate; some natural materials have been able to do the job at room temperature but are “limited to narrow infrared spectral ranges,” according to The Optical Society. Their journal Optica recently published their research online . Via Futurism and EurekAlert! Images via Xinyu Liu/Duke University and Xinyu Liu and Willie Padilla

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Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths

The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

April 18, 2017 by  
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Shortly after announcing that Tesla plans to cut its relatively more affordable Model S 60 and 60D from its lineup, the company revealed that it will also reduce the price of its new entry-level models, the 75 and 75D, by $5,000 to make up the price difference. It’s still $1,500 more than the previous model, but given that it retails for almost $70,000, that might not be a major issue for potential buyers. Those aren’t the only Model S variants to receive a price cut. The 90D’s base price is being cut from $89,500 to $87,500. If you want a car packed with more features, however, there’s bad news: the 100D and P100D are seeing a several thousand dollar price hike, as are Model X variants. There are also certain upgrades which are no longer available for the “entry level” cars, including smart air suspension on the 75 and 75D. And anyone interested in a high-amperage charger will have to shell out for the 100 or 100D. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving It may seem strange for the company to make such dramatic changes to its lineup, but it makes sense when you consider the launch of the $35,000 Model 3 later this year. The company is cutting out the products that will overlap with the Model 3’s functionality – the new car’s battery capacity stops at 75kWh, so anyone who wants a more powerful vehicle will have an incentive to upgrade. The higher prices at the top of Tesla’s range will help make up for the low cost of the Model 3, allowing the company’s average prices to remain the same. While this might be a bit frustrating for anyone interested in a 100D, overall it will help make electric cars more affordable for the average consumer. Hopefully this will result in more Tesla vehicles on the street overall. Via Engadget Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

German Scientists Double the Efficiency of Black Silicon for Use in Solar Cells

October 8, 2012 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock The future of solar power is about to get a little brighter with new developments in black silicon , a material that can absorb almost the entire spectrum, including infrared light. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have been making advancements in black solar panels, allowing them to double the efficiency of the material. The team is also hoping to combine a conventional panel (which can only capture three quarters of the spectrum), with the black silicon, creating a super-efficient cell that can harness the the full power of the sun. Read the rest of German Scientists Double the Efficiency of Black Silicon for Use in Solar Cells Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: black silicon , dr. stefan kontermann , Fraunhofer Institute , germany , infrared , Laser , photovoltaic panel , Solar cells , solar efficiency , solar panel

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German Scientists Double the Efficiency of Black Silicon for Use in Solar Cells

Dacha’s Origami is an All White Summer Home in Russia With No Windows and No Doors

October 8, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Dacha’s Origami is an All White Summer Home in Russia With No Windows and No Doors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: all white house , Dacha’s Origami , Dachniy Otvet , eco design , green design , minimalist design , origami , Peter Kostelov , russia , solar battery , summer home , sustainable design , timber

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Dacha’s Origami is an All White Summer Home in Russia With No Windows and No Doors

UCLA Develop Electricity-Generating, Transparent Solar Cell Windows

July 23, 2012 by  
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A team from UCLA has developed a new transparent solar cell that has the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. In short, they’ve created a solar power-generating window! Described as “a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) ” that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light instead of traditional visible light, the photoactive plastic cell is nearly 70% transparent to the human eye—so you can look through it like a traditional window. Read the rest of UCLA Develop Electricity-Generating, Transparent Solar Cell Windows Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , photovoltaics , polymer solar cell , Solar Power , solar power generating windows , Sustainable Homes , transparent solar cells , ucla

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UCLA Develop Electricity-Generating, Transparent Solar Cell Windows

10 Solar Power Innovations to Watch Out For

September 21, 2011 by  
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Shallu Sharma: Solar power innovations 10 Solar power innovations to watch out for The Sun has blessed us all with an alternative energy form which could be used in various ways to generate energy without harming environment and depleting natural resources. The day is very close when all the electronic gadgets we use will work on solar power. Given below are 10 solar power innovations to watch out for. 1. Converting Infrared Light to Electricity Infrared Light to Electricity Converting Infrared Light to Electricity Using visible light to produce electricity is a normal trend these days but researchers have found a new technique producing electricity by using Infrared rays. Titanium and Vanadium are added to the solar panel’s semiconducting material, which absorbs visible light as well as infrared light to produce electricity. The whole system has absorption limit of 63% as compared to 40% that of conventional system. 2. Thin Film Solar Record Thin Film Solar Record By US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Necessity is the mother of invention. This quote holds its true significance here. The shortage of silicon in the past few years has forced researchers to find out new alternative for thin films. In the same regard, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has come up with thin solar film which resembles silicon film in appearance as well as functionality. This solar film is formed using copper indium gallium diselenide and is 19.9% efficient. 3. CoolEarth Inflatable Solar Balloons Solar Balloon CoolEarth Inflatable Solar Balloons Most of the companies are trying to cut down on the use of photovoltaic cells as they are very expensive. But the question is that if not photovoltaic than what? To answer this question CoolEarth is working on its inflatable solar collectors. These balloons are 400 times cheaper than the concentrators of similar size and can be mounted on wires further reducing any installation charges. Maintenance is as easy as installation. Any small damage could be healed with tape and replacement also takes not more than 15 minutes. 4. ‘Hairy’ Thin Film Solar Panels Thin Solar Film ‘Hairy’ Thin Film Solar Panels History is full of strange and weird inventions. To add to it, one researcher has found out a technique of growing light absorbing nanowires on carbon-nanotube material. This strange research of growing high efficiency photovoltaic material has been carried out by the researchers of McMaster University. The aim is to produce cheap and high performance solar cells. 5. Moth Eyes Biomimicry for Solar Panels Moth-Eye Moth Eyes Biomimicry for Solar Panels Silicon is coated with anti-reflective material to increase its light absorbing capability so that more electricity could be produced from it, but still the process in not very effective. To find a solution to this problem, researchers noticed that moths have non-reflective eyes for defense against night predators. Moth-eye efficiency could be realized from the fact that it reflects back only 2% light. 6. Day4 Energy’s Innovation Day4 Energy’s Innovation Day4 Energy’s innovation to improve solar cells There have been many successful innovations in the laboratory that have defeated the performance of solar PV, but only few were feasible enough to reach the market. Day4 Energy’s has recently made a practical innovation by increasing the efficiency of their solar cells to 17-18%, which could reduce its cost by approximately 25%. These solar panels will be soon available in the market. 7. 1366 Technologies Bringing Solar Power Closer to $1/Watt 1366 Technologies Innovation 1366 Technologies bringing Solar Power closer to $1/Watt 1366 Technologies, silicon photovoltaic manufacturing company is ready with its prototype of multi-crystalline silicon solar panel. Making three different innovations to the conventional multi-crystalline silicon solar panels have improved its efficiency by 20%. 8. Solaria: 90% of the Power with 50% of the Silicon Solaria’s solar cells Solaria: 90% of the Power with 50% of the Silicon Solaria’s solar cells produce 90% of the usual solar panel’s energy by using only 50% of silicon. Thus it is very cost effective method of producing energy. Unlike conventional solar panels that have silicon covering all over the surface, Solaria slices the silicon into small strips and places them away from each other so that they no wrap the whole panel surface. Instead, a molded plastic cover collects the entire light from panels and transfers it to the silicon strips, thus increasing the efficiency and reducing the cost. 9. Sunrgi’s Extremely Concentrated Photovoltaic Cells Sunrgi’s Photovoltaic Cells Sunrgi’s extremely Concentrated Photovoltaic Cells Sunrgi have claimed that they will shortly create electricity at wholesale cost of 5 cents kWh by using an innovating technique. They will do so by focusing Sun’s light to 2,000 times into exceptionally efficient solar photovoltaic cells. 10. Japan Hopes to Have Solar Power Station in Space by 2030 Power Station in Space Japan’s Solar Power Station in Space by 2030 Japan has always amazed world with its innovations and technologies. With the intention of doing the same, Japan is working on a Solar Power Station that will be installed in space by 2030. It will be a massive and a costly investment. It is estimated that orbiting portion alone could stretch for kilometers and weigh 10,000 tonnes.

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10 Solar Power Innovations to Watch Out For

Infrared Light and Nanomaterials Could Yield Non-Toxic Corrosion Fighters

December 21, 2009 by  
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A new anti-corrosion coating that uses i nfrared light to bond new nanomaterials to steel could yield a more sustainable , less toxic substitute for the massive quantities of hazardous chemicals that are currently needed to hold our aging infrastructure together.

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Infrared Light and Nanomaterials Could Yield Non-Toxic Corrosion Fighters

Friendship between LION, TIGER and BEAR [VIDEO]

December 21, 2009 by  
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