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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 02:46 PM
Original message
MIT Research May Bring Down Cost of Solar Energy
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/story?id=5...



Imagine windows that not only provide a clear view and illuminate rooms, but also use sunlight to efficiently help power the building they are part of. MIT engineers report a new approach to harnessing the sun's energy that could allow just that.

~~

"Light is collected over a large area and gathered, or concentrated, at the edges," explains Marc A. Baldo, leader of the work and the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering.

As a result, rather than covering a roof with expensive solar cells, the cells only need to be around the edges of a flat glass panel. In addition, the focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each solar cell "by a factor of over 40," Baldo says.

Because the system is simple to manufacture, the team believes that it could be implemented within three years even added onto existing solar-panel systems to increase their efficiency by 50 percent for minimal additional cost. That, in turn, would substantially reduce the cost of solar electricity.

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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow. I love reading these kinds of post.
Thank you!
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. me too
I want that solar


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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wow, if it works that is a great idea...
Edited on Sat Jul-19-08 03:15 PM by lyonn
I have lots of windows on the south side of our house that produces way too much heat in the summer. I have blinds that helps but, this is wasted energy. In the winter it is great. Let's keep these great minds working, yea, MIT.

Edit: Sorry, excessive Wows! Still....
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. This was in the science forum a week or so ago
Very cool stuff though. Unfortnately they still haven't worked out how to make these dyes last long enough - though they say they're close.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. They plan on using proven technology from OLEDs instead
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/print/solarcells-faq...

Why did LSCs fail in the 1970's?
Two reasons: the collected light was absorbed before it reached the edges of the glass or plastic plates, and the dyes were unstable.

What precisely did you do to reduce loss of the collected light?
We borrowed some ideas from lasers, introducing what is known in lasers as a four-level system. In practice, we added a small concentration of an extra dye that collected all the absorbed light from its surrounding dye molecules. We also introduced a new class of dye molecules, known as molecular phosphors, that are extremely transparent to their own light emission.

What about stability?
We tested one of our devices and found that it was stable (to 92 percent of initial performance) for three months. This isn't good enough yet for products but we are confident that the technology developed for organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) in televisions will be portable to this application.

When will these concentrators make it into production?
The technology is being further developed for commercialization by Covalent Solar, a company being spun out of MIT by three of its inventors: Michael Currie, Jon Mapel, and Shalom Goffri. The team believes that it could be implemented within three years.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
5. 514,229 posts of this nature, containing 514,229 conditional verbs have lead to nothing
more than unjustified stupid complacency.

Solar electricity may not be a failure. It is a failure.

It has never produced enough electricity to power the websites saying it will become a useful form of energy someday.

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Howzit Donating Member (918 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. But solar energy IS nuclear
fusion... :)
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The problem with all fusion reactors is conversion to extractable energy.
I once went on a tour of the tokamak at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory near here.

Even if the reactor had developed a positive energy flow, which it didn't, they had no idea how to convert the energy to useful work. Most of the energy in fusion reactors is emitted as gamma rays.

The most reasonable approach being discussed involved using the 14 MeV neutrons to <em>fission</em> actinides.
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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. at a reasonably safe distance of 93,000,000 miles.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-08 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. It has never produced enough power because
people like you are perpetrating lies and misconceptions about the true potential of solar energy and the dangers of nuclear energy.


A portion of a cooling tower at Vermont Yankee just after its collapse in August 2007.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-08 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, Evil NNadir
Edited on Sun Jul-20-08 02:23 AM by Dead_Parrot
Fancy making the sun set like that every night. Tsk tsk. No biscuit for you.

After all, if the solar bus can tootle all over New England powered by nothing but PV panels, it must be good.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. wuhteverrrr
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