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.
I wasn't aware of that, Mydesign, that's really interesting. 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!
"actually today I am writing a blog post about how the U.S. Navy wants to build a space satellite with solar panels to beam solar energy from space, solving the availability/dependability problem. So stay tuned for that! Clever stuff."
Elizabeth, most of the satellites are equipped with solar panels & energy storing device for powering transponders. During day light they convert sun light to solar energy and stores in batteries for night usage.
Good points, Mydesign, and actually today I am writing a blog post about how the U.S. Navy wants to build a space satellite with solar panels to beam solar energy from space, solving the availability/dependability problem. So stay tuned for that! Clever stuff.
"Thanks for your comment, Al Klu. Actually the government is doing research and investing in solar and other alternative energies, and I agree that you're right they should be taking the initiative here."
Elizabeth, in most of the countries there are energy crisis and governments are always looking for alternate source of energy. Solar and wind are not always dependable because they are seasonal in most of the countries. In some countries they had developed hybrid systems, a combination of wind, solar, rain etc; so that energy can be produced throughout the year depends up on the available energy sources.
Al Klu, first am a non US citizen, I mean am residing in one of the Asian countries. For 3 KVA systems, all together the total cost is approximately $6000 and in that I got a subsidy of 60% (30% from State and another 30% from Federal government). As of now my total electricity bill comes to ¼ of the previous bills and I have the option to sell my extra power to grid. I hadn't connected AC and Pump motor to this system and hence paying these charges to the power supplying company.
Thanks for your comment, Al Klu. Actually the government is doing research and investing in solar and other alternative energies, and I agree that you're right they should be taking the initiative here.
Here's a story you might be interested in reading about how the Army is investing in solar: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=271748
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.