IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Collective-Evolution

A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, they are even claiming to be able to concentrate energy safely up to 5,000X, that’s huge. The process of trapping the sunlight produces water that can be used to produce filtered drinkable water, or used for other things like air conditioning etc. Scientists envision that the HCPVT system could provide sustainable energy and fresh water to communities all around the world.

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Collective-Evolution

A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns, they are even claiming to be able to concentrate energy safely up to 5,000X, that’s huge. The process of trapping the sunlight produces water that can be used to produce filtered drinkable water, or used for other things like air conditioning etc. Scientists envision that the HCPVT system could provide sustainable energy and fresh water to communities all around the world.

A new way to harvest more light to make solar cells more efficient
Researchers at MIT have figured out a new technique to make a traditional silicon solar cell — the kind that makes up most solar panels on rooftops — more efficient. The scientists published the findings in Nature Nanotechnology this week.
The innovation embeds a two-layer device made of carbon nanotubes and photonic crystals between the solar cell and the sun’s light. The device absorbs the sun light, heats up, and emits light that has a specific wavelength that can be used efficiently by the adjacent solar cell. A typical silicon solar cell doesn’t use all of the wavelengths of sun light, and many go to waste.
The MIT researchers say that with these types of designs, which use heat to boost efficiency, some solar cells in theory could one day produce an efficiency of over 80 percent. In comparison some of the highest efficient solar cells in mass production currently are in the low 20 percent range from SunPower. Alta Devices claims a solar cell that delivers 30 percent efficiency.

A new way to harvest more light to make solar cells more efficient

Researchers at MIT have figured out a new technique to make a traditional silicon solar cell — the kind that makes up most solar panels on rooftops — more efficient. The scientists published the findings in Nature Nanotechnology this week.

The innovation embeds a two-layer device made of carbon nanotubes and photonic crystals between the solar cell and the sun’s light. The device absorbs the sun light, heats up, and emits light that has a specific wavelength that can be used efficiently by the adjacent solar cell. A typical silicon solar cell doesn’t use all of the wavelengths of sun light, and many go to waste.

The MIT researchers say that with these types of designs, which use heat to boost efficiency, some solar cells in theory could one day produce an efficiency of over 80 percent. In comparison some of the highest efficient solar cells in mass production currently are in the low 20 percent range from SunPower. Alta Devices claims a solar cell that delivers 30 percent efficiency.

New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes
Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.
Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet.  It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.
(via Kyocera launches 70-megawatt solar plant, largest in Japan | Crave - CNET)

New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes

Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.

Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet.  It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.

(via Kyocera launches 70-megawatt solar plant, largest in Japan | Crave - CNET)

(via joshbyard)

IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 
A team of IBM researchers is working on a solar concentrating dish that will be able to collect 80% of incoming sunlight and convert it to useful energy. The High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate the power of 2,000 suns while delivering fresh water and cool air wherever it is built. As an added bonus, IBM states that the system would be just one third the cost third of current comparable technologies. Based on information by Greenpeace International and the European Electricity Association, IBM claims that it would require only two percent of the Sahara’s total area to supply the world’s energy needs. The HCPVT system is designed around a huge parabolic dish covered in mirror facets. The dish is supported and controlled by a tracking system that moves along with the sun. Sun rays reflect off of the mirror into receivers containing triple junction photovoltaic chips, each able to convert 200-250 watts over eight hours. Combined hundred of the chips provide 25 kilowatts of electricity.
The entire dish is cooled with liquids that are 10 times more effective than passive air methods, keeping the HCPVT safe to operate at a concentration of 2,000 times on average, and up to 5,000 times the power of the sun. The direct cooling technique is inspired by the branched blood supply system of the human body and has already been used to cool high performance computers like the Aquasar. The system will also be able to create fresh water by passing 90 degree Celsius liquid through a distillation system that vaporizes and desalinates up to 40 liters each day while still generating electricity. It will also be able to amazingly offer air conditioning by a thermal drive absorption chiller that converts heat through silica gel.
Replacing expensive steel and glass with concrete and pressurized foils, the HCPVT is less costly than many other similar installations. Its high tech coolers and molds can be manufactured in Switzerland, and construction provided by individual companies on-site. Through their design, IBM believes they can maintain a cost of less than 10cents per kilowatt hour.
 
 


IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

A team of IBM researchers is working on a solar concentrating dish that will be able to collect 80% of incoming sunlight and convert it to useful energy. The High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate the power of 2,000 suns while delivering fresh water and cool air wherever it is built. As an added bonus, IBM states that the system would be just one third the cost third of current comparable technologies.

 
Based on information by Greenpeace International and the European Electricity Association, IBM claims that it would require only two percent of the Sahara’s total area to supply the world’s energy needs. The HCPVT system is designed around a huge parabolic dish covered in mirror facets. The dish is supported and controlled by a tracking system that moves along with the sun. Sun rays reflect off of the mirror into receivers containing triple junction photovoltaic chips, each able to convert 200-250 watts over eight hours. Combined hundred of the chips provide 25 kilowatts of electricity.

The entire dish is cooled with liquids that are 10 times more effective than passive air methods, keeping the HCPVT safe to operate at a concentration of 2,000 times on average, and up to 5,000 times the power of the sun. The direct cooling technique is inspired by the branched blood supply system of the human body and has already been used to cool high performance computers like the Aquasar. The system will also be able to create fresh water by passing 90 degree Celsius liquid through a distillation system that vaporizes and desalinates up to 40 liters each day while still generating electricity. It will also be able to amazingly offer air conditioning by a thermal drive absorption chiller that converts heat through silica gel.

Replacing expensive steel and glass with concrete and pressurized foils, the HCPVT is less costly than many other similar installations. Its high tech coolers and molds can be manufactured in Switzerland, and construction provided by individual companies on-site. Through their design, IBM believes they can maintain a cost of less than 10cents per kilowatt hour.

 

 

(via phroyd)

smartercities:

Earth Day Collaboration Aims to Harness Energy of 2000 Suns | Building a Smarter Planet

It would take only two percent of the Sahara Desert’s land area to supply the world’s electricity needs. Unfortunately, current solar technologies are too expensive and slow to produce, require rare Earth minerals and lack the efficiency to make such massive installations practical. To address this, scientists at Airlight Energy have teamed up with IBM and Swiss university partners to develop an affordable photovoltaic system that is capable of concentrating, on average, the power of 2,000 suns, onto hundreds of 1×1 cm chips.

Crowdfunding Clean Energy - NYTimes.com
In January, a company called Mosaic, made a splash in the renewable energy world when it introduced a crowd-funding platform that makes it possible for small, non-accredited investors to earn interest financing clean energy projects. When Mosaic posted its first four investments online – solar projects offering 4.5 percent returns to investors who could participate with loans as small as $25 — the company’s co-founder, Billy Parish, thought it would take a month to raise the $313,000 required. Within 24 hours, 435 people had invested and the projects were sold out. The company had spent just $1,000 on marketing. All told, Mosaic has raised $1.1 million for a dozen solar projects to date. Now it is connecting with other solar developers to identify new projects for financing. More than 10,000 people have already signed on and are standing by to invest.

Crowdfunding Clean Energy - NYTimes.com

In January, a company called Mosaic, made a splash in the renewable energy world when it introduced a crowd-funding platform that makes it possible for small, non-accredited investors to earn interest financing clean energy projects. When Mosaic posted its first four investments online – solar projects offering 4.5 percent returns to investors who could participate with loans as small as $25 — the company’s co-founder, Billy Parish, thought it would take a month to raise the $313,000 required. Within 24 hours, 435 people had invested and the projects were sold out. The company had spent just $1,000 on marketing. All told, Mosaic has raised $1.1 million for a dozen solar projects to date. Now it is connecting with other solar developers to identify new projects for financing. More than 10,000 people have already signed on and are standing by to invest.

 Space-based solar farms power up | KurzweilAI
Space-based solar power (SBSP) has once again begun to attract attention with projects emerging in the US, Russia, China, India and Japan, among others. All are driven by increasing energy demands, soaring oil and gas prices, a desire to find clean alternatives to fossil fuels and by a burgeoning commercial space industry that promises to lower the cost of entry into space and spur on a host of new industries, says BBC Future.
Space-solar-power pioneer John Mankins, CTO of Deep Space Industries, is the man behind a project called SPS-Alpha, which aims to assemble a huge bell-shaped structure that will use mirrors to concentrate energy from the sun onto solar panels. The collected energy would then be beamed down to ground stations on Earth using microwaves, providing unlimited, clean energy and overnight reducing our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
The snag? It is unproven technology and he estimates it will take at least $15–$20 billion. .
However, a  2011 report by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) found that SBSP could be commercially viable within 30 years, driven in part by the rise of private space companies.

 Space-based solar farms power up | KurzweilAI

Space-based solar power (SBSP) has once again begun to attract attention with projects emerging in the US, Russia, China, India and Japan, among others. All are driven by increasing energy demands, soaring oil and gas prices, a desire to find clean alternatives to fossil fuels and by a burgeoning commercial space industry that promises to lower the cost of entry into space and spur on a host of new industries, says BBC Future.

Space-solar-power pioneer John Mankins, CTO of Deep Space Industries, is the man behind a project called SPS-Alpha, which aims to assemble a huge bell-shaped structure that will use mirrors to concentrate energy from the sun onto solar panels. The collected energy would then be beamed down to ground stations on Earth using microwaves, providing unlimited, clean energy and overnight reducing our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

The snag? It is unproven technology and he estimates it will take at least $15–$20 billion. .

However, a  2011 report by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) found that SBSP could be commercially viable within 30 years, driven in part by the rise of private space companies.

Patented technique key to new solar power technology
For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power. The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels. But while nanosized antennas have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.

Patented technique key to new solar power technology

For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power. The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels. But while nanosized antennas have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.

 IBM taking two paths toward making solar power cheaper than fossil fuels | Ars Technica
The price of photovoltaic hardware has dropped so dramatically in recent years that, according to some projections, a well-sited panel may become competitive with fossil fuels before the decade is out. To reach that point, which comes when panels cost below $2 per Watt, prices will have to continue their steep decline. During our visit to IBM’s Watson research center, we talked to two people who are working on ways to drive the cost down—but they are taking radically different approaches. The panels that most people are familiar with use silicon as a semiconductor. That has a few advantages, like cheap raw materials and reasonably high efficiency. But manufacturing panels remains expensive, and there aren’t obvious ways of squeezing large gains in efficiency out of standard silicon. So, IBM is looking at materials that don’t involve silicon: thin films and concentrating photovoltaics.

 IBM taking two paths toward making solar power cheaper than fossil fuels | Ars Technica

The price of photovoltaic hardware has dropped so dramatically in recent years that, according to some projections, a well-sited panel may become competitive with fossil fuels before the decade is out. To reach that point, which comes when panels cost below $2 per Watt, prices will have to continue their steep decline. During our visit to IBM’s Watson research center, we talked to two people who are working on ways to drive the cost down—but they are taking radically different approaches. The panels that most people are familiar with use silicon as a semiconductor. That has a few advantages, like cheap raw materials and reasonably high efficiency. But manufacturing panels remains expensive, and there aren’t obvious ways of squeezing large gains in efficiency out of standard silicon. So, IBM is looking at materials that don’t involve silicon: thin films and concentrating photovoltaics.

IBM Breaks Efficiency Mark with Novel Solar Material - Technology Review
An IBM-led research teams says that a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS) could meet current thin-film efficiencies with more abundant materials.
IBM says it has made technical progress on a solar technology that researchers hope will yield efficient thin-film solar cells made from abundant materials.
IBM photovoltaic scientists Teodor Todorov and David Mitzi on Friday detailed the findings of a paper that showed the highest efficiency to date for solar cells made from a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS). Published in Advanced Energy Materials, the technical paper described a CZTS solar cell able to convert 11.1 percent of solar energy to electricity.
 That level of efficiency is a significant jump from the 10.1 percent efficiency Mitzi and colleagues showed last year. (See, Efficiency Solar Cells from Cheaper Materials). The paper also argues that CZTS solar cells could achieve efficiencies high enough to make them commercially viable.

IBM Breaks Efficiency Mark with Novel Solar Material - Technology Review

An IBM-led research teams says that a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS) could meet current thin-film efficiencies with more abundant materials.

IBM says it has made technical progress on a solar technology that researchers hope will yield efficient thin-film solar cells made from abundant materials.

IBM photovoltaic scientists Teodor Todorov and David Mitzi on Friday detailed the findings of a paper that showed the highest efficiency to date for solar cells made from a combination of copper, zinc, tin, and selenium (CZTS). Published in Advanced Energy Materials, the technical paper described a CZTS solar cell able to convert 11.1 percent of solar energy to electricity.

 That level of efficiency is a significant jump from the 10.1 percent efficiency Mitzi and colleagues showed last year. (See, Efficiency Solar Cells from Cheaper Materials). The paper also argues that CZTS solar cells could achieve efficiencies high enough to make them commercially viable.

springwise:

Solar-powered kiosks in Africa offer groceries, light and electricity
Italy has already trialled solar powered utility kiosks in the form of Turin’s Smart Booth scheme. Taking this idea a step further, the German-designed SOLARKIOSK aims to be a vital source of electricity for those living in off-grid communities. READ MORE…

springwise:

Solar-powered kiosks in Africa offer groceries, light and electricity

Italy has already trialled solar powered utility kiosks in the form of Turin’s Smart Booth scheme. Taking this idea a step further, the German-designed SOLARKIOSK aims to be a vital source of electricity for those living in off-grid communities. READ MORE…