Most techniques for generating electricity from heat need high temperatures to achieve reasonable efficiency. Solar thermal energy is a form of energy and a technology for harnessing solar energy to generate thermal energy or electrical energy for use in industry. This high-temperature heat can be stored, thus allowing electricity to be generated on demand which is an important advantage of this technology.The first installation of solar thermal energy equipment occurred in the Sahara desert approximately in 1910 and was a steam engine without a kettle and fire but with a mirror system for sun light collection to heat water for the needed steam pressure.Solar Thermal Power PlantThousands of tracking mirrors, known as heliostats,directly concentrate sunlight onto a boiler filled with water that sits atop a tower. When the sunlight hits the boiler, the water inside is heated and creates high temperature steam. Once produced, the steam is used either in a conventional turbine to produce electricity.
Engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found out that sandwiches from one-nuclear materials of a decanter and compounds of molybdenum can be used as the super thin solar cells. The solar cells created by scientists represent sandwiches from two different two-dimensional substances with one atom thick. In one of options is used MoS2 molybdenum sulfide with a decanter, in other – the same connection with WS2 tungsten sulfide. According to scientists, the counting on quantity of the transformed energy efficiency of new solar cells is insignificant. It makes only about one percent against 15-20 percent at existing photo cells. Nevertheless, at calculation on weight, one-nuclear sheets have no equal.
All charm of the portable solar plug socket is that it with ease fastens on glass with help of a sucker and converts solar energy in the electric. It perfectly will be suitable for recharge of small electronic devices, such as smartphones, a MP3 players, netbooks, digital cameras, etc. The compact solar plug socket received the name “Window Socket”. It was designed by design company “Kyuho Song & Boa Oh”. In the socket there is a small accumulator and the device for converting of solar energy in the electric. In a day the solar plug socket accumulates enough energy to recharge the electronic devices practically all night. According to the creators the socket 1000mAh can recharge with ease the mobile phone and other small electronic devices.
Engineers from South Korean university Hanyang developed thin solar photocells, which can be pasted on any curvilinear surface, previously having soaked them in water. Thin layer photocells are created on the basis of the amorphous silicon sated with hydrogen. Their structure and way of production practically don’t differ from this kind of solar panels. The innovation brought by authors, is that between a basis, the silicon plate, and a thin photoactive layer brings a metal layer. This fact allows easily to separate a thin photocell from a silicon basis, which can be used repeatedly. The process reminds gluing of transfers -a soaking in water with the subsequent transfer on the necessary surface. Authors showed that new thin photocells can be put on such materials as paper, plastic, a windowpane or a back wall of the mobile phone. Thus, initial efficiency of electro generation, which makes about 7,5 percent doesn’t decrease. The panels with quantum points have two nuances: on the one hand, panels have to be rather thin, that light of the Sun could pass through them, and on the other hand, they shouldn’t be too thin, that the delay of light was effective. To adjust ideal composition and materials – rather complex challenge, but it became possible with zinc oxide in their structure. From zinc oxide experts created nano wires, this provided interaction with light photocells.
Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles (University of California, Los Angeles) have created a transparent solar cells (solar cells), which is an important step towards developing technology that will allow the future to cover the windows in buildings of various layers which produce energy, rather transparent when it is well to pass a street light. Scientific work was recently published in the journal ACS Nano. A team from the University of California gives a description of a new type of polymer solar cells (polymer solar cell, PSC), which generates energy by absorbing infrared radiation is mainly, but not visible light, so now the level of transparency in terms of human perception of almost 70 percent. The device was made of plastic photoactive, which converts infrared radiation into electrical energy. Polymer solar cells are attracting great attention from the energy industry, as they have significant advantages compared to other technologies for the production of solar cells.
German startup Heliatek has developed a new kind of solar panel made of small, organic molecules deposited on polyester films. The technology is similar to what’s used for OLED displays for phones and flat-screen TVs. The panels are flexible, and far lighter than conventional solar panels, yet in some locations, particularly where it’s hot or cloudy, they can generate just as much electricity as a conventional solar panel.
The researchers at the Frauenhofer Institute have recently come up with some flexible solar cells that are durable enough to use in objects such as helmets. By the end of the year, these highly efficient flexible solar cells (more than 20 percent) will be available on the market. A unit will cost around 100 Euros. These solar cells are made of mono crystalline silicon and so the risk of rupture is not at all.
Researchers at Notre Dame have successfully developed solar cells that can be easily painted on to any conductive surface.
Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported the first solar cell that produces a photocurrent that has an external quantum efficiency greater than 100 percent when photoexcited with photons from the high energy region of the solar spectrum.