I just dropped the price of
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for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
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Using Prisms to direct the right wavelengths of light to the correct solar cell ?  RSS feed

 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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I will call this Jest a thought, and Boy, am I talking through my hat, But here is where I assign all my Creative Commons rights freely to all people everywhere
without reservation !

Much has been made of the idea of concentrating Sunlight to improve solar panels out put, and attempts are being made to stack solar cells on top of each other.

Attempts are being made to find solar cells that will absorb part of a wavelength -say green-blue- while still being transparent to light energy in the Red/infrared
spectrum, ( Much of the solar energy of solar radiation is outside the visible spectrum to Ether end !)

My Modest proposal would have concentrated solar radiation pass through a cheap liteweight plastic prism that would split the light across its Infrared, Red, Orange
Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and Ultra-violet wavelengths delivering the light to the correct solar cell hopefully without major fractional losses due to Trans-
parency issues ! 100% of the light sent to the right Solar cell !

Don't have a south facing Wall or roof at the correct orientation for your Latitude ? Prisms solve that. Light can even be bent through the prisms to supply Light to
solar panels Sited at Right angles to the apparent angle of solar incidence, Panels could be thicker instead of flatter ! Cleaning the smaller surface would be easier
and take less time.

It certainly would take much less energy to turn prism sets to follow the sun that to turn entire solar panels, Great energy, weight and materials saving seems very
likely with this concept!

I am sure that 1 or more of these ideas will need a lot of work, and may not be practical, However- this could spark the next couple of ideas from other Fellow
Members, and produce something that can continue to grow ! Think like Fire, Flow like a Gas, Your Suggestions and Comments are Solicited and Welcome Big AL
 
Barry Fitzgerald
Posts: 43
Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
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Mirrors work also. They are cheaper and readilly available.
The disadvantage is the system needed to track the sun and keep it focused on your solar panel.
 
allen lumley
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Barry Fitzgerald : I Think I don't understand your reference to mirrors ! The core of my idea was the separation of the various light energy wavelengths,
and their further individual placement onto more than one appropriate receiving Solar Cell. Perhaps I Explained poorly ! :p

While the mirrors probably would serve as as well as many collector / concentrators on the market to deliver a tightly focused beam of light energy they would
seem to be unable to deliver individual lightwave bandwidths to appropriate receivers, or am I missing something here ?

I think that You were stating that a mirror would also bend light and make it available to a solar collector also mounted in an otherwise poor mounting location
it probably will do so cheaper than many of the concentrators now on the market !

The need to adapt to the changing Angle of Incidence of sunlight hitting the collector certainly does create a disadvantage, and all fixed systems are installed with
some adjustment built in, I think that some seasonal adjustment should be included in the frame work of this modestly proposed system !.

Any attempt to 'Follow the Sun' will add to the required rigidity of the system of Braces and Brackets supporting the Collectors. I was proposing that the prisms or
series of prisms could 'Follow the Sun' instead, and allow the framework to be much lighter than conventional 'Sun following' solar panels, reducing materials, weight,
cost, and energy inputs!

An often used expression here at Permies Is ' The Problem is the Solution !' I like 'A rising tide floats ALL boats' -as it shows we are all in this together !

Think like Fire, Flow like a Gas, Don't be the Marshmallow! As always all comments, and observations and questions are solicited and welcome Big AL

Late note ; While I talked to a few pilots here in upstate New York, None have gotten excited about reflections off of Solar Panels, (or pools or windshields, or green
houses ) and don't seem to be very worried about he future of Aviation regarding reflections from solar panels. In some places local governments have stepped into
this issue, and there can be wording regarding the use of roof mounted mirrors specifically ! However my few Questions ?s is not a Scientifically binding study !!!
 
John Elliott
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What's working against your idea, Big Al, is the photoelectric effect, what Albert Einstein won his Nobel Prize for. Each solar cell material has its characteristic "work function", above which incoming photons can create electricity, and below which they don't. It's not so much that you have to tune the solar cells to each individual frequency (in which case your idea would help with efficiency), but that you have enough photons hitting the cell that have sufficient energy.

What solar cell makers try to do, is to have that work function low enough that most of the light hitting the cell can create current by knocking electrons up into the conduction band. How much energy each electron takes up into the conduction band (i.e., the color of the incoming light) is of secondary importance. Another way to say it, is that if you come up with a new solar cell material that has a wider range, that can convert more low-energy red photons into electricity, you are not really increasing overall efficiency a whole lot.

But where your idea has a lot of merit is if you can make the solar cell transparent to the longer wavelengths. That way, if a photon is too weak to generate an electric current, it can still pass through and warm up whatever is underneath the solar array. Right now, solar arrays sitting on a roof have frames and borders and non-solar cell areas that just pick up heat during the day and lose it at night. With your idea, you could have a skylight that both generates electricity and lets the heating infrared rays through.
 
allen lumley
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John Elliott : O. K., Still an other way to say it is there is a threshold that must be reached to move those electrons!

I understand that light energy is at least measured in photons, and is one of the reasons we can measure the temperature of 'hot' steel by the color it glows at ! I
freely admit that this is not one of my strong areas, But if we say that The invisible bands Infrared and Ultraviolet are composed of Photons aren't we saying that the
individual 'colors' are also ?

I Really like Your Idea of a skylight that could allow light energy through to the living space instead of raising the Temperature in the panel, High temperatures
temporarily degrade all panel efficiencies to the point that on some crisp cold days here in New York that whole array will produce more Electricity than One in Georgia.

On a daily bases I curse and rage against a system that sends English majors out to interview a Scientist with an announced 'Breakthrough' After he re-reads his notes
and types up a report on what he heard -often different from what the Scientist said- He submits it to Someone sitting at an Editors desk, who often is qualified for his
job by graduating from a 2 year business administration school. The Blue pencil further trims the Report to fit the space its allocated and then more likely the last word
is an intern in the legal department !

Having said All this, it was my understanding that a Silica based solar cell was 'efficient' in a specific wavelength, and a gallium was 'Efficient' in a different wave length
and some Zeolite? like compounds were 'Efficient ' in still another wavelength, Hence my reference to R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. ! Obviously, dividing the whole lightband would offer
less light to 'Knock-up' R.O.T.F. an electron, but then again that would be the major point of the Concentrator Right ?

Point me in the right direction, and I will see if I can find a 'Physics for Dummies' book to dig me out of this hole ! For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL




 
Topher Belknap
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Along with all the other potentially good ideas for increasing the efficiency of solar panels, this one must come up against the economics of the current situation. The price of solar panels is dropping. Say you could make solar panels that are 50% efficient at the current price, by the time you roll out the panels, the price could well have dropped so far that it would be cheaper to just buy more panels, rather than your more efficient ones. This has sunk most of the innovation in this field recently.

Figure out how to make them cheaper, and scalablely cheaper after that, and you will be a rich man. Or alternatively figure out a cheap way to mount them.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
allen lumley
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The vindication I have received is a powerful and soothing Balm ! www.daileyfusion.net/2014/06/polychromat-layer-solar-cell-29334 Big AL !
 
wayne stephen
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Ho Ho Allen ! Great thoughts from a great mind but time is of the essense as they say . That reminds me of the year I was in Film School and was plotting out my great idea for a TV channel of Rock Music Videos . Turned on the TV and there was MTV . Mike Nesmith from the Monkees beat me to it . Enjoy the soothing balm at least , My Freind . We have witnessed a great vindication .
 
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