Computer giant IBM is developing a technology that relies on a liquid metal cooling process to more efficiently harness solar energy. IBM uses a giant convex mirror to focus sunlight onto a 1cm2 photocell, a method similar to a magnifying glass. Like fire. The company says this method of concentrating light can increase the energy of sunlight by a factor of 10, typically producing 20W of energy and now 200W.
One of the problems that the researchers of this technology have to overcome is how to avoid damaging the battery when focusing sunlight. In their experiments, such concentrated light was able to melt stainless steel, so they had to figure out how to effectively cool the solar cells. A thin layer of liquid metal is placed between the battery and the cooling plate. The metal layer directs heat from the solar cells to the cooling plate. IBM has begun using this technology to cool high-energy, high-heat chips, IBM said, if the project costs If it can be reduced, solar energy could be used for commercial-scale power generation; if the photovoltaic cell temperature can be kept not too high, the project is one step closer to practical application. IBM is also developing nanotechnology structures, including nanowires and quantum dot semiconductors, to The conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells is higher.
Is there a window that provides a clear view and illuminates the room, while using sunlight to provide an efficient power supply to the building? According to the July 11, 2008 issue of Science, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a novel method for solar concentrators that can turn this novel idea into reality.
Study leader Mark Bardo, associate professor of electrical engineering, said the new solar concentrator uses a coating to collect sunlight over a large area, such as a window, before concentrating it to the edge. In this way, instead of covering the entire roof with expensive solar cells, the energy collected by each solar cell can be increased by more than 40 times simply by embedding the solar cells around the edges of the flat glass panels.
Current solar concentrators rely on tracking sunlight to generate high optical power, often requiring the use of large moving mirrors that are expensive to deploy and maintain. The solar cell at the focal point of the mirror must be cooled, and the entire assembly wastes surrounding space to avoid obscuring adjacent concentrators. The researchers transplanted optical techniques developed for lasers and organic light-emitting diodes into the new solar concentrators, using a mixture of two or more paints and coating them on special glass windows or plastic panels. These coatings work together to absorb a wide range of wavelengths, then re-emit at a different wavelength and transmit through the panel to the solar cells at the edge of the window. In short, the different wavelengths of sunlight are concentrated into light energy, and then the solar cells are responsible for converting the light energy into electrical energy.
This technology can absorb a wide range of wavelengths of concentrators, enabling the solar cell to be optimized at each wavelength, greatly reducing light transmission loss and increasing the total output power. Previous solar cell concentrators were Today’s technology circumvents the drawbacks of tracking the sun’s spotlight with a large moving mirror. The new system is very easy to fabricate, reduces cost due to reduced solar cell area, and the researchers believe it could be commercialized within 3 years, or even added to existing solar systems with minimal additional cost. 50%, thereby greatly reducing the cost of solar power generation.