Thursday, June 21, 2012

Solar cell breakthrough taps previously unused energy source — the infrared spectrum

A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) has produced a new type solar cell capable of absorbing energy from the infrared spectrum, where about 40 percent of the energy in sunlight exists.
All prior solar cells ignored the infrared spectrum for energy stored in visible light, but the new cell uses purified carbon fibers converted into microscopic tube-like structures called nanotubes to capture the hidden power. Details of the new cell were published in the latest edition of the scientific journal Advanced Materials.
A bonus: Researchers said that because the cells are transparent, they could one day be laid on top of currently existing solar arrays, turning the less-efficient and more common photovoltaic cells into hybrids capable of much greater energy output.

Although the new cells’ energy conversion efficiency ratio is currently very low, the team believes they can scale it up as the product becomes more refined with later iterations. If widely adopted, the new technology could give the U.S. a significant leg up on its renewable energy goals.
Read it at Raw Story
Solar cell breakthrough taps previously unused energy source
by Stephen C. Webster

1 comment:

Clonal said...

Talking of energy, Steve Bannister has an interesting article at Matias Vernango's blog - The Overton Window for game changing exotic energy technologies