Australian scientists attain 40% efficiency on solar energy collection/conversion

Vastet
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Australian scientists attain 40% efficiency on solar energy collection/conversion

In world first, researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency

Date:
December 7, 2014

Source:
University of New South Wales

Summary:
Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40 percent of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported. A key part of the prototype's design is the use of a custom optical bandpass filter to capture sunlight that is normally wasted by commercial solar cells on towers and convert it to electricity at a higher efficiency than the solar cells themselves ever could.

Exerpt(s):
UNSW Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported.
The record efficiency was achieved in outdoor tests in Sydney, before being independently confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at their outdoor test facility in the United States.
~
"We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry," added Dr Mark Keevers, the UNSW solar scientist who managed the project.
The 40% efficiency milestone is the latest in a long line of achievements by UNSW solar researchers spanning four decades. These include the first photovoltaic system to convert sunlight to electricity with over 20% efficiency in 1989, with the new result doubling this performance.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141207091648.htm

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digitalbeachbum
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 fucking awesome!

 fucking awesome!


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 What ticks me off about

 What ticks me off about solar energy is that we have had this technology for almost a century. It is way way way past time we turn to this.

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Clearly you are ignorant on

Clearly you are ignorant on this subject as well. You have no idea what the cost benefit is, nor what exactly goes into making the panels in the first place. The solar industry has only just barely entered the realm of being commercially viable on large scales. Far from being past time, now is the time. It wasn't possible until recently.

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Vastet wrote:Clearly you are

Vastet wrote:
Clearly you are ignorant on this subject as well. You have no idea what the cost benefit is, nor what exactly goes into making the panels in the first place. The solar industry has only just barely entered the realm of being commercially viable on large scales. Far from being past time, now is the time. It wasn't possible until recently.

Yep. You also forgot the maintenance costs. I always laugh at these people who get the panels on their roofs here in Florida and they never clean them. They literally need to be cleaned every day to keep the efficiency to a level which makes it cost effective.

 


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Brian37 wrote:  What ticks

Brian37 wrote:

 What ticks me off about solar energy is that we have had this technology for almost a century. It is way way way past time we turn to this.

Solar panels have been around since the 1880's. In fact, if it weren't for coal being so cheap, solar power would have been what we used today. Think of how the world would be if coal was never used?

I give you the story of Augustin Mouchot... I like the part about making ice from using solar power as the source. Extremely cool story. hahaha.. a pun!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustin_Mouchot

 

Also as far back as the 1940's, it cost 250 dollars for one watt of power with 4.5-5% efficiency.

In the 1950's they US government want to put solar collectors up in space and send the energy down to the surface using microwaves. However the efficiency of the panels were too low and they required constantly cleaning.

 


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Vastet wrote:Clearly you are

Vastet wrote:
Clearly you are ignorant on this subject as well. You have no idea what the cost benefit is, nor what exactly goes into making the panels in the first place. The solar industry has only just barely entered the realm of being commercially viable on large scales. Far from being past time, now is the time. It wasn't possible until recently.

I guess that would make Neil Degrasse Tyson igorant for mentioning this fact on the series Cosmos.

 

Did it ever occure to you that what you say happened because big oil has a monopoly which has prevented the economic viablity you say and rightfully so, exists. The money spent in proping up big oil for the past century could have been used back then.

Yea, the technology is new and expensive. NO SHIT, but we could have been way ahead a long time ago if big oil and greed had not been obstructing progress. This is the same industry that had to be drug kicking and screaming to be forced to remove lead from fuel. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:I guess that

Brian37 wrote:
I guess that would make Neil Degrasse Tyson igorant for mentioning this fact on the series Cosmos.

Correct. I find it quite interesting how thoroughly you fall into hero worship. Once you've decided someone is worthy of being your hero, they can do and say nothing wrong ever again, even when they do or say something wrong.

Did you know it takes fossil fuels to make solar panels? Did you know that those fossil fuels produce a lot more energy if they are not used to make solar panels?

I'd go ahead and calculate exactly how many solar panels it would take to meet the energy requirements of each decade over the last hundred years to show you how much of a fool you are, but you'd just ignore it like you always ignore facts you don't like. So I won't waste my time. I know the truth, as does the majority of people in a position to do something about it, and that is enough to satisfy me.

We could not be any further along without being in a dictatorship that cares about scientific progress like the Soviet Union did, and I wouldn't be willing to make the concessions necessary to have achieved your pipe dream.

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Brian37 wrote: Vastet

Brian37 wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Clearly you are ignorant on this subject as well. You have no idea what the cost benefit is, nor what exactly goes into making the panels in the first place. The solar industry has only just barely entered the realm of being commercially viable on large scales. Far from being past time, now is the time. It wasn't possible until recently.

I guess that would make Neil Degrasse Tyson igorant for mentioning this fact on the series Cosmos.

 

Did it ever occure to you that what you say happened because big oil has a monopoly which has prevented the economic viablity you say and rightfully so, exists. The money spent in proping up big oil for the past century could have been used back then.

Yea, the technology is new and expensive. NO SHIT, but we could have been way ahead a long time ago if big oil and greed had not been obstructing progress. This is the same industry that had to be drug kicking and screaming to be forced to remove lead from fuel. 

If he said so, then he is. We aren't even sure that solar panels are a viable replacement for oil today if we devoted 100% of our efforts towards it. The metals used to make efficient solar panels are EXTREMELY rare and are only found in a handful of places in the world. None of which are the US. There has been great concerns in the financial markets that within a few decades, China will be the only place on Earth that will have substantial deposits. Solar remains far less efficient than oil, although there has been some progression that mkes it look potentially viable in the future and there is work being done to create panels that don't rely on rare heavy metals. We aren't there yet, asking why we didn't have it 100 years ago is similar to asking why Paul Revere didn't just call the colonials on his iphone.

And oil has never been a monopoly dumbass. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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This may shock some people,

This may shock some people, but the words of Neil Degrasse Tyson, Hitchens, Jefferson, Hypatia, and Malala don't carry any more weight than anyone else's.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Brian37 wrote:Vastet

Brian37 wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Clearly you are ignorant on this subject as well. You have no idea what the cost benefit is, nor what exactly goes into making the panels in the first place. The solar industry has only just barely entered the realm of being commercially viable on large scales. Far from being past time, now is the time. It wasn't possible until recently.

I guess that would make Neil Degrasse Tyson igorant for mentioning this fact on the series Cosmos.

 

Did it ever occure to you that what you say happened because big oil has a monopoly which has prevented the economic viablity you say and rightfully so, exists. The money spent in proping up big oil for the past century could have been used back then.

Yea, the technology is new and expensive. NO SHIT, but we could have been way ahead a long time ago if big oil and greed had not been obstructing progress. This is the same industry that had to be drug kicking and screaming to be forced to remove lead from fuel. 

It had nothing to do with big oil preventing it. It had to do with an industry which wasn't cost effective. The cost of making a solar panel and the energy you got from it was worthless. I've already posted what solar panels cost per watt. When you have a barrel of oil costing you pennies per watt and a solar panel costing you 1000 times more per watt which one do you think the public is going to choose?


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Yep

 

40 per cent efficiency is great. Now all we need are comparatively affordable and entirely safe 5, 10 and 15kW batteries and we can jump off the grid altogether. I think in the U.S. solar is way more affordable than it is in Oz. Getting a house off the grid here is a $30-40,000 exercise. If your power bills are less than 1000 a year as mine are, the economics make no sense at all. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 I live in Florida.  I

 I live in Florida.  I have looked at installing solar panels.  Right now, the cost is too prohibitive.  For my home, 1451 sq ft, it would be around $30K to convert it to a completely off the grid set up and that is not even adding in the cost of building another shed to store the batteries so they are not in the house and dangerous.  My homeowners insurance would not insure my house if they were stored in the house. 

I have a close friend who does service on the panels.  He told me that he has been getting memos from his company and from the industry that the price in the next 10 years will come down radically, as much as 70%.  If we just be patient and wait, assuming the power companies don't try to squash it, this technology will do what computers did from the early 90's to now.  The efficiency will increase and the cost will drop, especially as economies of scale take effect.