[ExI] solar is looking better all the time: was RE: Efficiency of wind power
eugen at leitl.org
Wed Apr 20 08:39:54 UTC 2011
On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 01:25:38PM -0400, Mr Jones wrote:
> Did any of you happen to catch this yet?...
> The light must be shone through a material that does not conduct
> > electricity, such as glass. And it must be focused to an intensity of 10
> > million watts per square centimeter.
> How difficult a task is this? Are the optics required difficult to come
Nanometamaterials/photonic crystal patterning are hard problems on
their own. Semiconductors, particularly in quantum dot form can
be pretty cheap and made from nonscarce/nontoxic elements.
Long-term we're likely to see interesting new approaches (e.g. rectennas
scaled into VIS/NIR) with quantitative efficiency, but we're again
looking at fabrication issues. This will be probably done by autoassembly
or outright machine-phase which are both comfortably far off.
> I think I saw somewhere in the article 10% efficiency. What are current
> solar panels rated at? What efficiency do we need to attain to make solar
In PV you're looking at ROI and EROEI integrated over lifetime.
Efficiency is typically negatively correlated to that, so as long
as you're above some minimal (~2-5%) efficiency with all other factors
compensating for it you're in the clear.
Best commercial efficiencies are ~20% IIRC, best lab is approaching
50%, but that's concentrated multujunction/tuned bandgap stacks made
Trend see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/PVeff%28rev100921%29.jpg
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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