Electricity from the heat - a serious alternative to solar cells

July 27, 2008, 2:46 pm

   Scientists Idaho National Laboratory U. S. Department of Energy believed that the plastic sheets, consisting of billions nanoantenn who collect thermal energy, provided the Sun and other sources, can significantly increase the use of this form of energy. In the future they may become light skin, supplying the energy and hybrid vehicles, and portable players, with much greater efficiency than the traditional solar panels.
The approach is not to gather sunlight, flexible block nanoantenn captures solar rays mid-infrared range, radiated heat as the Earth after the accumulation of solar power for daytime. The apparent advantage is that energy can be worked out round the clock. Scientists say that infrared radiation is a very rich source of energy because it generates many technological processes.
Nanoantenny represent a tiny cells or spiral installed in a specially constructed forms of polyethylene. Already antennas have been developed, low-frequency stations collect energy electromagnetic spectrum, including microwaves, infrared rays but remained elusive. This is partly because the properties of materials change significantly at high frequencies.
The researchers said they studied the parameters of the vast number of materials, including gold, manganese and copper, under infrared rays and used these data to construct computer models nanoantenn. They concluded that with the right combination of materials, shapes and sizes can collect up to 92% of energy in the infrared range. If these figures prove correct, the combination of solar panels and will allow these nanoantenn exceed more than 2 times the efficiency of the most advanced solar panels, the level which is about 40-50%, while the mass models, and it does not exceed 20%.
team of scientists were built prototypes. They used conventional methods of production for engraving silicon wafers with circuits nanoantenn. Based on silicon nanoantenny consistent with calculations and absorbed more than 80% of energy in the band. Then use thin plastic sheets, and they also confirmed the correctness of the theory, absorbing energy on the expected level. Infrared rays creates alternating current in nanoantennah with frequency in the trillions of hertz. For DC rectifier required, but is not yet available samples able to work on these frequencies. Required nanovypryamitel should be approximately 1000 times less than commercial samples submitted on the market at present.
All this calls for new production methods, but as soon as they are found, will appear at nanoantenn potential to become a cheap and effective alternative to solar cells.


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