If you want to get the most out of the Sun, don’t use photovoltaic collection, but simply let the sunrays bake something really black – and then harvest that heat.
A newly developed thin, moldable sheet of tiny infrared-sensitive antennas could mean a big jump for solar innovation. It was made by a University of Missouri engineer and three colleagues from other institutions, who together had their ideas and production method published in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering.
The researchers state their method of collecting midinfrared wavelength radiation converts over 90 percent of total incoming solar energy into electricity.
That is in sharp contrast with most solar panels we use today. These only have an efficiency of around 20 percent. But with or without the new infrared solar sheets – the solar return value is likely to increase anyway.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org