Home
Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info

New solar technology transforms smartphones and windows into eco-friendly energy sources


Solar technology
Most Viewed Articles
https://www.naturalnews.com/047757_solar_technology_smartphones_windows.html
Delicious
diaspora
Print
Email
Share

(NaturalNews) With all the hazardous health and environmental aspects of our current energy sources -- like nuclear, coal, petroleum and natural gas -- innovative and nontoxic alternatives are in high demand. Regrettably, even "green technology" has serious drawbacks, where windmills and solar farms decimate bird life, while dams for hydroelectricity disrupt waterway ecosystems. In an attempt to find a better solution, we're often faced with significant (and destructive) consequences. And yet, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon with a state-of-the-art material developed at Michigan State University (MSU).

Luminescent solar concentrators are nothing new in the realm of solar energy. Focusing the sun's rays onto a compact area, the effect is similar to using a magnifying glass for generating heat and fire. The technology doesn't come without problems, however. Solar concentrators tend to be unattractive monstrosities that pose a threat to local bird wildlife. Efforts have been made to merge the concentrators with standard windows, but the end result compromised the transparency and color of the glass. In response, the quest for a completely clear material began.

Affordable and non-intrusive

According to Richard Lunt of MSU's College of Engineering, his team has developed a truly transparent luminescent solar concentrator that "can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface." The key word here is transparent.

In the past, solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials yielded products that were inefficient and highly colored. As Lunt pointed out in a recent press release, "No one wants to sit behind colored glass. It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent."

The solar harvesting system uses specialized organic molecules that absorb invisible wavelengths of sunlight. Once these molecules pick up ultraviolet and near-infrared light, they "glow" at an infrared wavelength. This "glowing" light is guided to the border of the material where it's converted into power by slender rows of photovoltaic solar cells.

"Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye," Lunt said.

Even though development is still in its early stages, the potential to scale production for commercial applications with an affordable price point looks promising. Lunt also notes that the material needs more work on its energy-producing capacity. Currently, the solar conversion efficiency is close to 1 percent, but the team aims to reach beyond 5 percent when fully optimized.

Despite the hurdles that need to be overcome, Lunt believes that the material "opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way. It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there."

Sources:

http://themindunleashed.org

http://msutoday.msu.edu

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Thrive-Living/4995788...

For Pinterest fans: www.pinterest.com/thriveliving/

Find at Google+: www.goo.gl/cEZiyR

Diaspora*: [email protected]

Tsu: www.tsu.co/ThriveLiving

and Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

Read her other articles on Natural News here:

www.naturalnews.com/Author1183.html

Join the Health Ranger's FREE email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time. | Learn more...

comments powered by Disqus


Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Get alerted on heavy metals and pesticide test results for foods and supplements

Natural News is about to begin releasing lab test results for off-the-shelf food, supplement and pet food products, covering heavy metals, nutritive minerals, pesticides and herbicides. These details will be released exclusively to Natural News email newsletter subscribers (FREE) and will NOT be publicly posted on the website. To be alerted, join our free email newsletter now, and watch for lab test results in the weeks ahead.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our email announcement list (but don't use gmail). Your privacy is protected and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you don't join our email list, you may never see our valuable content again via Facebook, Google or YouTube. CENSORSHIP has now reached EXTREME levels across the 'net. The truth is being suffocated. Subscribe now if you want to escape the delusional bubble of false reality being pushed by Google and Facebook.

Once you click subscribe, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free subscription.