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World Record Solar Cell With 44.7% Efficiency

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  • World Record Solar Cell With 44.7% Efficiency

    "For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."

  • #2
    That is quite impressive, sounds like it might be possible to fabricate in th real world. A lot of the high effiency relies texturing the surfaces which does not lend itself to mass production. The peak is at 290 suns ,which means its only usable in concentrator setups.....which is not so bad as mirrors are cheaper than solar cells so maybe thats not an issue. Though i do wonder about the coolng requirements to get that efficeincy at 290 suns


    • #3
      Cool it with water and use it for steam energy?
      "For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."


      • #4
        They have solar plants in the US and Europe that use solar energy to melt salt. The super heated salt evaporates water to power turbines. Because the salt stays hot for long periods of time it can even produce power after the sun goes down. It's called molten salt thermal technology.

        The Crescent Dunes solar thermal power plant in Nevada passes another milestone, is on track to be the world's largest solar power facility of its kind.

        There are other variations, but the the salt one is in the news lately because of a really big one in Nevada that is almost done. When complete they estimate it will produce 110 MW of energy. Or about one casino

        “Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out”
        –The Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett


        • #5
          The first CSP (concentrated solar power) plants were built in the Mojave desert in the 1990s but were short-lived. This is a technology that has a much higher efficiency than PV, is cheaper and requires less land area for a given generator capacity. Depending on the design, the plants can work 24/7 but, obviously, at a reduced output than using the energy just in daytime generation. The downside of those using the mirror/tower construction is that the computer-controlled heliostats tend to go out of kilter. The downside of the trough design is that if the salt solidifies in the collectors during prolonged cloudy spells, it is difficult to restart them. The original salt used was ordinary pure sodium chloride, but its high melting point (~800°C) was a disadvantage. Now, the tendency is a eutectic mixture of salts with a melting point in the 250°-300°C range. The same technique can be used with water pressurised so that it's boiling point is >250°C, but this is probably more expensive. There are two such plants providing most of the electricity consumed in Seville, in Spain.

          Proposals have been made to build several hundred CSP plants in N. Sahara and piping the electricity to Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar with HVDC cables. Theoretically, all of Europe could have electricity supplied 24/7 by two such massive installations in N. Africa and in the Arabian Desert. However, I believe this idea is rather pie-in-the-sky.

          I've suggested that a couple of solar tower CSP plants, about 25-30 MW each, could be built in the UN Buffer Zone between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied N, Cyprus; this land is wasted. My totting up the figures suggest that they would be cheaper/MW than either wind or PV. The problem is financial rather than technical as the country is almost bankrupt.
          Brian (the devil incarnate)


          • #6
            The biggest.problem with 2-3 (or so) facilities in N. Africa or the M.E. is security, closely followed by the possibility of a radical faction taking control of the area government. Too risky.
            Dr. Mordrid
            An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

            I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr Mordrid View Post
              The biggest.problem with 2-3 (or so) facilities in N. Africa or the M.E. is security, closely followed by the possibility of a radical faction taking control of the area government. Too risky.
              hmm let's see we (the western world) is poisoning ourselves by handing money hand over fist for M.E. oil to powers that export religious extremism/intolerance/terrorism.
              Let's expand that by also putting electricity generating capacity in countries in the same sphere of influence! good idea!

              Can you imagine the probable consequences of a projects like Desertec? Countries that hold these electricity production facilities will have a gigantic leverage over the EU once these facilities become operational.

              I'd rather they (EU countries) invest in newer and safer nuclear power generation. The EU is rather low on natural resources, with north sea oil slowly running out now...