Solar energy has emerged as one of the most viable forms of renewable energy. But to make it even more prevalent and a standard part of power grids, solar-energy harvesting technologies need to perform at a higher level, achieving more efficiency, or a higher ratio of electrical output to the incident energy in the form of sunlight. Manufacturing the cells also must become more cost-effective and less labor-intensive to further promote their widespread use.
Click on the image below to check out some of the latest ways researchers are working to improve the performance and manufacturing of solar cells.
A group of German and French scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti, and the Helmholtz Center Berlin recently set a new world record in efficiency of 44.7 percent in a solar cell. They achieved this percentage with a four-junction solar cell that took them three years to develop. The solar cell is comprised of four solar subcells based on III-V compound semiconductors for use in concentrator photovoltaics. (Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE)
Yes, of course, this is in the early stages, Mydesign. You might want to check out the message boards on this story--there is a lively debate going on! I am sure you would have something interesting to add.
Hi, Mydesign, well, yes it seems very complicated, but a Navy engineer is working on it and he has already built a prototype for this type of thing. Here's the article I wrote: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=272395
I would be really interested to know what you think.
"So perhaps it's not so far off that they can use solar panels in space to beam electricity to earth. The Navy wants to convert the solar energy to radio waves and then beam it via antennas on satellite modules. I think it could work!"
Elizabeth, am not sure about transmitting electricity from space station to earth through atmosphere. Lots of hurdles are associated with this type of conversion and transmission. It won't be economical too.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. Iíve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
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