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Location: Oxfordshire
Member Since: 31st May 2006
Total posts: 1237
Posted:occasionally a bit of tech news really is just awesome.

spectrolab, a boeing subsidiary published research demonstrating 40% efficient solar panels ! smile


Fantastic news, at that level they might even be useful in the UK wink

Blinded by Hyperlights, please donate generously grin

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Kim Stanley Robinson calculated that a 10x10 mile array of such cells in Nevada or New Mexico could power the entire US.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


Location: Birmingham
Member Since: 12th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1502



Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:This is encouraging, though solar still has a long way to go. The only countries with serious solar generation have subsidised it to the hilt. The time to break-even on a current photovoltaic solar panel in this country is around a thousand years. Water heating solar panels breakeven in about 20. We need improvements of several orders of magnitude, in price per Kw.

Still, impressive technology. Photosynthesis is neat but doesn't come near the efficiency of solid-state electronics.


The efficiency of photosynthesis is determined by the following:

1. At least eight photons are required to store one molecule of CO2 which means 1665 kJ of light energy are required to store 477 kJ in the plant. Max efficiency is 0.286 or 28.6 %

2. Only light in the range 400-700 nm can be used. This amounts to 43% of total solar incident radiation.

3. Canopy limits absorption to 80 %

4. Respiration required for translocation and biosynthesis requires about 33% of the energy stored which leaves 67%

The overall efficiency is then .286x.43x.8x.67 = .066 or 6.6%

Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: "In your ear"
Member Since: 9th Jun 2003
Total posts: 6207
Posted:i see your solar cells, and i raise you,


Step (el-nombrie)

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