80% efficient, flexible solar panels?!?!
Feb 01, 2008

Apparently! The Idaho National Laboratory has announced a new technology that uses nanotech to create a flexible, highly efficient solar panel. And at 80% efficiency, they aren't kidding when they say highly efficient. Most panels clock in at about 40%. I've seen a few reports of experimental systems that have approached 70% but that are extremely complex and expensive. This technology, apparently, is actually quite cheap. In addition, it can convert infrared radiation to electricity as well, so it will even produce power at night. There's just one problem though: they have no way of harnessing the electricity created. Light and heat are converted to electrons, but we don't yet have a way of collecting those electrons. Oops. But apparently that's in the works and should hopefully be coming soon. Even still, this is a huge breakthrough. It brings us almost to the point of cheap, limitless power. Use this stuff in the roofs of electric/hybrid cars and trucks and you'll get a pretty decent range extension and the ability to charge (probably slowly) even in places without power. Cover the roof of your house with this stuff and you'll probably be pretty close to being able to go completely off grid. Since it will generate power 24/7 (though much more during the day)
blog comments powered by Disqus