Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Solar panels that capture visible and infrared spectrum

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Rybold, May 6, 2011.

Social Buttons

  1. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,760
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    Southern California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    Other Non-Hybrid


    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2011/05/new-technology-could-capture-solar-energy-now-wasted/

    .
  2. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    4,424
    Likes Received:
    696
    Location:
    NOVA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    Good science update.
    Whereas CO2 absorbs infrared light to cause global warming, if we captured enough infrared light, could we reverese global warming at the same time? I don't think so, but this got me thinking.
  3. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,111
    Likes Received:
    619
    Location:
    Maine
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II


    Not really. Capturing the energy is precisely the problem.

    Energy from the Sun is intercepted by the Earth, some of it is reflected, some of it is absorbed; that which is absorbed is (mostly) converted into heat which then causes the object heated to give of infrared radiation. Some of that radiation escapes the Earth. The difference between the amount that is absorbed and escapes is Global Energy Increase. CO2 prevents some of that escaping radiation (by re-absorbing it).

    Therefore if we replace an infrared absorbing object with an infrared to electricity converter, and that electricity ends up as heat (which most of it does), then we are neutral with respect to Global Energy Increase. If we replace an infrared reflecting object instead (such as vegetation), then we are making the problem worse.

    [I am ignoring any subtleties about particular frequencies and differing absorption rates by CO2 here, as it exceeds my knowledge on the subject.]
  4. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,080
    Likes Received:
    167
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    ^But with less CO2, the heat can escape more easily, but we can use it to perform "work" first on the ground before escaping

    Akin to the efficiency gained in a heat pump vs a heater
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    7,110
    Likes Received:
    1,805
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three


    It is true that single junction crystalline silicon cells cannot capture anything beyond 1.1x10^(-6) on that graph.

    But multijunction devices can reach higher efficiencies, and this seems to be another form of multijunction cell. Most existing 3- to 6-junction device appear to have a Germanium layer that reaches out to 1.9x10^(-6) on that graph, grabbing all the IR except the last two small lobes.
Similar Threads: Solar panels
Forum Title Date
Fred's House of Pancakes Free Solar Panels? Sep 22, 2013
Environmental Discussion My solar panels are 10 years old... Jun 5, 2013
Toyota Prius Plug-in Charging via solar panels Feb 15, 2013
Environmental Discussion Stupid: "... solar panels ...millions of pounds of polluted Feb 10, 2013
Toyota Prius Plug-in Solar panels on a pip? Jul 18, 2012