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Thursday, June 26, 2014

High Efficiency Solar cells _ Semprius

      The above solar panel by Semprius has an efficiency of about 43.9% the Semprius solar cells are multi junction solar cells ie four cells stacked one over the other each one absorbs the different band of light frequency. This is the reason why such a high efficiency of close to 50% has been achieved , however the four junction solar cells are expensive but semprius has got around this problem by concentrating the sunlight on the by as much as 1100 suns. Each cell is said to be as small as the tip of a pencil. This also reduces the the amount of cells needed by a factor of 1100.

           The combination of such high efficiency cells with high level of sunlight concentration will drive down the costs of solar electricity by a huge amount in the next few years ,as shown in the picture above the concentrator glasses are inexpensive certainly  cost much less than solar cells. So one can imagine even if these multijunction cells are even 20 times more expensive than conventional solar cells, the fact that the solar energy is concentrated by a factor of 1100 makes the cost of solar panel at least 30 to 40 times cheaper even if the price of the concentrator glass array ,tracker and the control system(that keeps it aligned with the direction of the sun)  is taken into account . 

          Hopefully in the near future such panels are on every terrace in countries with high sunshine like India. This would save usage of fossil fuel worth billions of dollars , also when electricity becomes so cheap use of electric cars ,electric motorcycles and electric scooters will increase thus oil and natural gas worth billions of dollars need not be imported and it would reduce pollution.

If every vehicle in India runs on electricity generated from the sun India will become rich. Every year the amount of money India spends on importing petroleum is $ 160 bn this bill would be reduced by a big amount . Again the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases produced by the combustion of such fuels will reduce significantly thus lowering pollution.

The total electricity production in India last year was 1102 Tera Watt hours approximately Rs 500000 cr worth electricity. Using solar panels like these we can reduce the the need of coal and natural gas fired power stations thus saving the nation billions of dollars worth money.

In large parts of India especially rural and the semi urban areas the quality of electricity is either very bad or there is no electricity at all  in spite of having the perennial source of energy --sun almost 365 days every year , every year the world is blessed with trillions of dollars worth energy from the sun , only now we are learning to tap into this infinite source of energy in an economical fashion and looking into the future solar energy will be far more cheaper than fossil fuel powered energy. The fossil fuel powered energy was simply an intermediate stage ultimately man will use sun to get all the energy he needs .



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Some Renewable Energy Innovations

The renewable energy technology world  today is blooming with new innovations , we have just come across two solar power innovations Rawlemon and Solar Roadways.

Rawlemon betaray is a large glass sphere which essentially collects the rays of sun falling on it and concentrates it on a solar cell by a factor of 500 suns thus generating electrical energy and heat energy also it is found to be 70% more efficient than conventional solar cells that are not concentrated. The beauty of rawlemon system is that it can generate electricity even in very cloudy conditions and even from moonlight. The real cost of solar energy comes from the PV modules now when solar energy is concentrated the amount of solar cells required comes down significantly saving on costs thus the cost of energy obtained from such solar systems is much lower. A betaray can be installed on rooftops or on walls.You can get more information about Rawlemon from the following link

The next video doing round these days is of solar roadways , the inventors have designed intelligent microprocessor controlled solar cells that can replace roads. The solar cells will generate electricity and these panels have LED lamps that glows giving a better view of road to the driver. Also in cold countries they would prevent the roads from getting clogged in snow. Parks, parking alleys , tennis courts, basketball courts can have these panels on the surface. Since the panels are touch sensitive it would warn motorists of the obstacles ahead.

Next of course we have come across various modes of tidal energy whether it is pumping seawater to a height using ocean waves as in  in searaser or using underwater currents to generating electricity. Tidal energy is abundant on earth and is a promising future source of energy.

 Searaser uses the vertical displacement of ocean currents to make a pump move up and down thus pumping water now this water is collected in a reservoir that is located at a high altitude the collected water can be allowed to flow down and at a point where the stream acquires maximum energy one can place a turbine that would rotate and generate electricity.

When it comes to wind energy a new innovation has come from a MIT company named Alteros , they have come out with a system that has a helium shell that would take the wind turbine located in the centre to rise up to a height of 1000ft at that hight the wind speed is much more and much more consistent , it is called Buyont Air Turbine , a BAT can generate twice the energy of a tower mounted Wind Turbine. It is designed to withstand very high wind speed and in case of storm it can auto dock itself.

Traditional wind turbines can only be set up at places with consistent and high wind speeds not all places on earth have these characteristics, however with BAT its possible to generate electricity almost anywhere in the world.

      There are many more innovations researchers are working on lots of different ways to tap different motions in nature to generate electricity , the above are just few of the . The future of energy is definitely renewable and green. It makes sense to tap into unlimited sources of renewable energy than burn limited fossil fuel for energy requirements which generates CO2 and other gases which are even more harmful and have a bad effect on the environment.