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Future Of Solar Power Technology

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#1 karthikaqpt

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:24 AM

The past few years in the solar industry have been a race to the top in terms of solar cell efficiency. Today's technology allows us to harness this resource in several ways, giving the public and commercial entities flexible ways to employ both the light and heat of the sun.


Here are some of the latest emerging solar panel technologies

1.Graphene-coated solar panel generates Electricity from Rain Drops:
https://www.youtube....h?v=cQbTX5KPakg

Scientists in China are developing a new kind of solar panel that could be used to generate power from rain drops.

By using a thin layer of highly conductive graphene, the solar cell could effectively harness power from rain. The salt contained in rain separates into ions (ammonium, calcium and sodium), making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy.

The water actually clings to the graphene, forming a dual layer i-e pseudocapacitor, with the graphene electrons. The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.

According to the scientists , this new technology could guide the design of advanced all-weather solar cells.i-e The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days

All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis.

2.World’s Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel with more than 22% Module Efficiency:
https://www.youtube....h?v=zD4AkGN2UgQ
The Sun provides endless energy, but the average solar cell panel can convert only 14 to 20% of the energy it collects into usable electricity. 

Now, American energy company SolarCity has built the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent. The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere

SolarCity’s panel was measured with 22.04 percent module-level efficiency by Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products. SolarCity’s new panel is created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies, and it will be the same size as standard efficiency solar panels, but produces 30-40 percent more power. 

3.Turning Salt water into Drinking water using Solar power:
https://www.youtube....h?v=JGwGcMsaKt4

According to the Securing Water for Food agency, between 2000 and 2050 water demand is expected to increase 55 percent globally, meaning the number of people affected by water scarcity will continue to grow. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population could be living in severe water stress conditions. 

The MIT team's this new desalination technology "electrodialysis" is comparatively less expensive.

Both electrodialysis and reverse osmosis require the use of membranes, but the membranes in an electrodialysis system are exposed to lower pressures and can be cleared of salt buildup simply by reversing the electrical polarity. 

That means the expensive membranes should last much longer and require less maintenance. In addition, electrodialysis systems recover a much higher percentage of the water — more than 90 percent, compared with about 40 to 60 percent from reverse-osmosis systems, a big advantage in areas where water is scarce.

4.Solar Cell captures CO2 and Sunlight, produces Fuel: 
https://www.youtube....h?v=xkkNgGtGZuo

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such "artificial leaves" could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.

The technology should be adaptable not only to large-scale use, like solar farms, but also to small-scale applications. In the future, it may prove useful on Mars, whose atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, if the planet is also found to have water.

5.Balloon-based Solar Farms above the Clouds for Uninterrupted Power:
https://www.youtube....h?v=a-51KqjXZ6A

A French-Japanese laboratory NextPV has proposed an option to mount solar panels on balloons to be placed above the clouds.

Reducing structural and installation costs, ensuring high conversion efficiency and providing nearly round-the-clock access to an abundant power supply would help prove that clean energy can cost less to produce than coal-fired electricity.

Though this idea looks great, many people criticize this idea in their social media discussions, by listing various reasons including the safety and the potential risk of these solar farm balloons hiding the sunlight to be reached the earth surface.

6.A 'mini ice age' is coming in 15 years? Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030:
https://www.youtube....h?v=Rn7Rt_IaSgQ
new model that predicts the solar cycles more accurately than ever before has suggested that solar activity will drop by 60 percent between 2030 and 2040, which means in just 15 years’ time, Earth could sink into what researchers are calling a mini ice age. 

7.A solar sailing spacecraft from The Planetary Society:
https://www.youtube....h?v=Ha1OZUIhVjI

The LightSail is blasting off to space along with the X37B drone for a test flight on May 20th, but the project still needs a lot more money for its first major mission in 2016. So, the Planetary Society has started a Kickstarter campaign for getting money from crowdsourcing.

LightSail was originally conceptualized by Carl Sagan as a "solar sailer," a spacecraft that uses the sun's radiation for propulsion. The Planetary Society, is attempting to make its own version -- the current model is a CubeSat no bigger than a breadbox with four sails. If the team manages to raise enough money, LightSail will be sent to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in 2016.

Solar sails use the sun’s energy as a method of propulsion—flight by light. Light is made of packets of energy called photons. While photons have no mass, a photon traveling as a packet of light has energy and momentum.

8.Converting Carbon dioxide (CO2) into Formic acid using solar power:
https://www.youtube....h?v=jyYIbOV97o8

By addressing two of these 3 things, researchers at Princeton University and researchers at a New Jersey start-up company "Liquid Light", came up with an efficient method for harnessing sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into a potential alternative fuel known as formic acid.

The transformation from carbon dioxide and water to formic acid was powered by a commercial solar panel that can be found at electric poles across New Jersey.

The process takes place inside an electrochemical cell, which consists of metal plates the size of rectangular lunch-boxes.

 

Read about remaining 5 applications of solar technology at http://qualitypointt...php?f=30&t=9611


Edited by karthikaqpt, 17 May 2017 - 02:17 AM.


#2 exchemist

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:49 AM

The past few years in the solar industry have been a race to the top in terms of solar cell efficiency. Today's technology allows us to harness this resource in several ways, giving the public and commercial entities flexible ways to employ both the light and heat of the sun.


Here are some of the latest emerging solar panel technologies

1.Graphene-coated solar panel generates Electricity from Rain Drops:
https://www.youtube....h?v=cQbTX5KPakg

Scientists in China are developing a new kind of solar panel that could be used to generate power from rain drops.

By using a thin layer of highly conductive graphene, the solar cell could effectively harness power from rain. The salt contained in rain separates into ions (ammonium, calcium and sodium), making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy.

The water actually clings to the graphene, forming a dual layer i-e pseudocapacitor, with the graphene electrons. The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.

According to the scientists , this new technology could guide the design of advanced all-weather solar cells.i-e The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days

All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis.

 

I don't understand this claim. I see you have cut and pasted it from a Fox News website. Raindrops do not contain a high level of salts and even if they did, what would be the source of the energy that is allegedly converted into electricity by contact with graphene? I can imagine there could be a polarisation in the graphene, due to the presence of cations in the water film, but that is a one-off process that does not yield a flow of energy.

 

Have you anything that might shed light on this - on the face of it, highly doubtful - claim?



#3 billvon

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 10:51 AM

When you cut and paste an article, it's considered honest to cite the source you copied it from.



#4 OceanBreeze

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:49 AM

I don't understand this claim. I see you have cut and pasted it from a Fox News website. Raindrops do not contain a high level of salts and even if they did, what would be the source of the energy that is allegedly converted into electricity by contact with graphene? I can imagine there could be a polarisation in the graphene, due to the presence of cations in the water film, but that is a one-off process that does not yield a flow of energy.

 

Have you anything that might shed light on this - on the face of it, highly doubtful - claim?

 

 

I don’t understand that either.

I was able to find some technical data here

 

I am sure you can make more sense out of it than I can, but one interesting point:  there is a relationship between the induced voltage and the velocity of the water droplets. It is as if the source of energy is the velocity of the falling rain!



#5 exchemist

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:09 PM

I don’t understand that either.

I was able to find some technical data here

 

I am sure you can make more sense out of it than I can, but one interesting point:  there is a relationship between the induced voltage and the velocity of the water droplets. It is as if the source of energy is the velocity of the falling rain!

Congratulations for digging this out. But it looks ridiculous. The current measured is microamps and the voltage is microvolts, and the "raindrops" were molar strength salt solution! As you point out, the voltage seems to be a function of speed of the raindrops.

 

But what is the energy density of falling rain? Pretty low, I should have thought, but I have not done the calculation.  



#6 OceanBreeze

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:12 PM

Congratulations for digging this out. But it looks ridiculous. The current measured is microamps and the voltage is microvolts, and the "raindrops" were molar strength salt solution! As you point out, the voltage seems to be a function of speed of the raindrops.

 

But what is the energy density of falling rain? Pretty low, I should have thought, but I have not done the calculation.  

 

Oh well, we cannot let it go without doing the calculation, now can we? :fly: 

 

From this source:

 

 "the amount of kinetic energy in an object is half the mass times the velocity squared. The velocity of rain is limited by air resistance and typically has a maximum velocity of around 8 m/s [4]. Doing the calculation, the amount of kinetic energy falling on a 185 m2 roof is about 59.2 kJ (0.016 kWh) per cm of rain. This is only about 1.6 kWh of energy per year in an area that receives a meter of rain per year"

 

That is assuming 100% efficiency, which is of course impossible. The previous article on the Chinese invention cited an efficiency factor of only 6%. That would be less than 100 Wh per year, in this example. Hardly worth the effort!

 

Again assuming a 185 m2 roof area, about the same amount of energy can be extracted from collecting the rain water in a tank 7m high and letting it run over a turbine, about 1.5 kWh of energy per year. Plus, turbines can be made to be quite efficient, up to 80% of the Betz's coefficient (59.3%) So, 59.3% x 0.8 = 47% practical efficiency.

By comparison, that is 750 Wh/year using the turbine versus 100 Wh/year using the direct kinetic energy of the rain hitting the rain/solar panels.

 

So, yes, the idea seems ridiculous.


Edited by OceanBreeze, 16 May 2017 - 01:24 AM.


#7 exchemist

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 01:24 AM

Oh well, we cannot let it go without doing the calculation, now can we? :fly: 

 

From this source:

 

 "the amount of kinetic energy in an object is half the mass times the velocity squared. The velocity of rain is limited by air resistance and typically has a maximum velocity of around 8 m/s [4]. Doing the calculation, the amount of kinetic energy falling on a 185 m2 roof is about 59.2 kJ (0.016 kWh) per cm of rain. This is only about 1.6 kWh of energy per year in an area that receives a meter of rain per year"

 

That is assuming 100% efficiency, which is of course impossible. The previous article on the Chinese invention cited an efficiency factor of only 6%. That would be less than 100 Watts per year, in this example. Hardly worth the effort!

 

Again assuming a 185 m2 roof area, about the same amount of energy can be extracted from collecting the rain water in a tank 7m high and letting it run over a turbine, about 1.5 kWh of energy per year. Plus, turbines can be made to be quite efficient, up to 80% of the Betz's coefficient (59.3%) So, 59.3% x 0.8 = 47% practical efficiency.

By comparison, that is 750 Watts using the turbine versus 100 Watts using the direct kinetic energy of the rain hitting the rain/solar panels.

 

So, yes, the idea seems ridiculous.

Thanks for finding this. So one's intuitive scepticism seems vindicated. I am left wondering what the driver was for this research. Did they not do their sums, or is this the basis of a sort of scam, by which people are encouraged to waste their money on panels with an extra feature that, while workable in principle and thus not exactly false advertising, is useless in practice? Very odd. 



#8 OceanBreeze

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 01:28 AM

Thanks for finding this. So one's intuitive scepticism seems vindicated. I am left wondering what the driver was for this research. Did they not do their sums, or is this the basis of a sort of scam, by which people are encouraged to waste their money on panels with an extra feature that, while workable in principle and thus not exactly false advertising, is useless in practice? Very odd. 

 

I was thinking along the lines that it could be a scam; it has just enough truth in it to fool people.



#9 billvon

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 04:37 PM

I was thinking along the lines that it could be a scam; it has just enough truth in it to fool people.

I don't think it's a scam.  It's probably a report on a Chinese research project that was misunderstood.



#10 exchemist

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 01:04 AM

I don't think it's a scam.  It's probably a report on a Chinese research project that was misunderstood.

Ah Billvon, glad you have showed up, you're pretty hot on renewable energy.

 

Could you take a look at the link Ocean Breeze provided in post 4 and tell us what you think this research is really about?  

 

I'm sure there is a dose of journalistic hype at the very least but, sweeping that aside, I'm still mystified as to what the purpose of the research could really be.  



#11 karthikaqpt

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:19 AM

When you cut and paste an article, it's considered honest to cite the source you copied it from.

Thank you for remembering. Now i give the source



#12 OceanBreeze

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:59 AM

I don't think it's a scam.  It's probably a report on a Chinese research project that was misunderstood.

 

Well, it wouldn't even be a viable scam with the panels having 6% efficiency in solar mode and putting out microvolts in rain mode, compared with the best solar panels now having better than 22% efficiency. Someone would need to be insane to actually buy these.

I think it could be a scam to get some of the green energy government grant money, if the idea was adopted by a US company. There are several such companies that are raking in government grant money while producing no useful or practical products.





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