Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Solar Antennas Could Eventually Replace Solar Panels

INL (TGW) - Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have developed a way to collect more light for power more efficiently: plastic sheets filled with billions of nanoantennas.

The antennas collect mid-infrared rays, which are not only emmited by the Sun, but also by the Earth. The Earth emits these during the day and at night after absorbing energy from the sun.

The nanoantennas are tiny gold squares or spirals set in a specially treated form of polyethylene, a material used in plastic bags. The gold antennas can harvest 92% of the light.

The antennas are also promising cooling devices. Since everything emits the mid-infrared rays, the nanoantennas could be kept in buildings for cooling purposes.

However, there are still serious problems. "The infrared rays create alternating currents in the nanoantennas that oscillate trillions of times per second, requiring a component called a rectifier to convert the alternating current to direct current. Today's rectifiers can't handle such high frequencies," the laboratory said in a press release.

Once an advanced enough rectifier is developed, solar 'skins' could be developed that power everything from cars to iPods.

Via :: Press Release


Jonathan Becker said...

Jonathan Becker, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon University's ECE BiCoastal Ph.D. Program, has entered the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition with his idea entry "Converting Light Spectra into DC Electricity Using Solar Antennas." This idea entry is a Ph.D. project that Jonathan is developing along with his Ph.D. advisors at the Silicon Valley Campus. In addition to 50 entries selected by the judges, the 10 entries with the most votes will also move forward as semifinalists, so please vote for Jonathan's entry before the March 1st deadline.

solar panels said...

Solar energy is always smog or pollution free. Your health will be completely sheltered. It is more economical and tax free from the government.

Edward said...

These photovoltaic modules are assembled to make up a photovoltaic cell also known as solar cell.

Solar Panels

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