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More Efficient Solar Power with Gallium Arsenide Nanowires

Nanowires, needle-like crystals about the diameter of a virus, can’t be seen with a light microscope, but can give solar energy a massive boost. Led by Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, researchers in the semiconductor lab at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland are developing flat solar panels covered with nanowires that can collect up to where to find viagra 12 times more light than standard flat solar cells.

Propped up on the buy viagra in england panel like bristles, the nanowires concentrate light, capturing even more than Fontcuberta’s team expected; their prototype already captures 10 percent more light, and uses 1,000 times less material, than traditional models.

Nano-scale filaments are not a new development in solar technologies; researchers have been working on this kind of technology for years, like the researchers in UC San Diego, Harvard, and the German universities Jena, Gottingen, and Bremen did in 2008. Unlike some earlier applications of viagra fast the technology, however, these sun-lit nanowires are made with gallium arsenide, which converts light into power better than silicon.

While gallium arsenide is notoriously expensive, its high conversion efficiency is why the material appears in solar panels on spacecraft like the Mars rovers Opportunity and the best choice viagra no rx Spirit *. Make the gallium arsenide components into upright nanowires, though, and the amount of the pricey compound needed reduces immensely as compared to flat panels of the material.

Fontcuberta’s team are experimenting with additional efficiency boosters as well; they have also dotted the nanowires with indium arsenide, to act as stimulants to increase light absorbtion even further. Although Fontcuberta says, "It might take ten more years before nanowires can be found on the market." The EPFL’s School of Engineering website reports making this technology available on the market remains the team’s goal.

via: VentureBeat

image via EPFL School of Engineering News

[ * Ed note: as a reader pointed out, while Opportunity and Spirit had gallium arsenide solar panels, the current Mars rover Curiosity is nuclear powered]

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Comments (9)Add Comment
Nasty name
written by Carl, May 06, 2013
I don't think I would ever want to use a solar panel that was made from such evil smelling stuff as arsenide.

There are other issues too. How are these nano wires going to be kept free of dust and dirt contamination?
written by Baz, May 07, 2013
@Carl: Solar panels are generally manufactured with the semi-conducting layers (silicone, gallium arsenide etc) behind a sealed sheet of glass; as such, the smell would be a non-issue and the dust/dirt issue would be no different to that of standard panels today, assuming the nanowires aren't disproportionately affected by any dust that might settle on the glass.
Inconsistency in numbers
written by Ryan Baker, May 09, 2013
There is a mistake in the numbers. What tipped me of levitra 10mg is you say 12 times more light than conventional panels. Since those have 20-40% efficiency, this must be a "per material" measurement (12 times 20% is 240%..., an impossibility).

But then later it says 10% more light with 1/1000 of material, which is buy female viagra way more than 12 times.

Looking at the original source, the 12 times is "for size", which probably means in one dimension, and 12 cubed is in the same ballpark as the 1/1000th of material.

So it's quite inaccurate to say it's 12 times more light than conventional panels. You can't compare a single filament to a full panel.
written by Innovative, May 10, 2013
What an interesting way to use them. Thanks for this.
written by Eco, May 11, 2013
here's hoping this doesn't drive UP the cost of panels.
written by newboilerman, May 18, 2013
Interested in the 12 times more light statement. Does this convert into 12 times the solar energy or am I missing something.
You can't use 1,000 times less material
written by brian, May 21, 2013
Pet peeve. You can use 1/1,000th the material, but you certainly cannot use 1,000 times less material. Please fix.
KLIMOV SOLAR CELL (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
written by DHAN HURLEY, May 31, 2013
To: (Correspondent),
Here is an update on the rigorous Klimov work, proving conclusively that one can find a process that will extract and use excess free energy from the vacuum (EFTV). The work has also been independently replicated, and they are moving to the generic viagra online canadian pharmacyonline viagra no prescription amplification of lasers with this type of prototype EFTV technology.
Notice the clear statement that the initially excited electron (after being hit by the incident solar radiation photon) first dives momentarily into the seething virtual state vacuum, popping back up with a great deal of additional energy (having been taken on from its submergence in the virtual state vacuum flux). The superexcited electron then abruptly decays into up to seven normally-excited electrons.
So here we have the very clear and rigorous scientific proof that one can indeed extract free and usable EM energy from the vacuum, accomplished in a great national laboratory. It has also been replicated independently in a second great laboratory. It is now proceeding forward for potential use in amplifying laser emission, using the excess energy acquired and used from the seething virtual state vacuum.
Note that it only takes one single white crow to prove that not all crows are black.
This Klimov work is the rigorous "white crow" that proves you really can extract and use free extra EM energy from the seething vacuum. And it's been done in the hard science community, by two great labs, and now replicated by other researchers in other labs as well.
And note the stated COP theoretically achievable being 700% for this first process. The researchers have already easily achieved COP = 200% (they express COP as percent rather than decimal number 7.0 and 2.0).
Now contrast this to canadian pharmacy shop the sad archaic old EE model used by all our electrical engineers to do their "power" systems. That old 1880s/1890s model assumes there is no active vacuum at all, and hence one cannot take excess energy from the vacuum because it's "just emptiness" in that model's silly century-old assumptions. It was also deliberately symmetrized in 1892, to exclude all such "asymmetrical" systems and lowest cialis price retain only those EM systems that self-enforce COP1.0.
Scientifically, with its independent replications, the Klimov and related work and experiments are all the proof that is required by the scientific method, to rigorously prove that energy-from-the-vacuum is super viagra a viable concept capable of being realized and used in real, operational systems.
Very best wishes,Tom

Absolute Proof that Operational COP>1.0 EM Systems Are Possible and Eventually Practical
Brody, Herb. Victor Klimov in Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has constructed a solar cell which can absorb the light of a specific wave length in such a way, that one photon can energize more than one electron. As soon as the electron absorbs a photon, it disappears for a very short moment into the quantum field. Being in the virtual state the electron can borrow energy from the vacuum and thereafter appears again in our reality. Now the electron can energize up to 7 other electrons. This leads to a theoretical coefficient of performance (COP) of 700%. A COP = 200% can be readily achieved and it has been. The experiment has also been replicated successfully by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado. [Herb Brody, "Solar Power - Seriously Souped Up." New Scientist, May 27, 2006, p 45].

Quoting: “Make solar cells as small as a molecule; and you get more than you bargained for. Could this be the route to limitless clean power?"].

Comment by T.E.B.: Note that the super-excited electron, after emerging from the seething virtual state vacuum immersion, actually splits into two or more electrons! So the output current of the solar cell process is freely amplified by excess energy from the local virtual state vacuum. Note that at about COP = 3.0, one could conceivably add clamped positive feedback of one of those output electrons back to the "dive back into the seething virtual state vacuum" input, replacing the we use it cialis samples in canada original electron input, and the unit would be "self-powering" (powered by energy from the vacuum) while putting out the other two electrons as output.
Or by using some of the output current in a radiation-producing process, one could have the positive feedback input as a radiation photon, to replace the initial solar input entirely. In this fashion, once "jump started" by some source of solar radiation, the resulting "solar panel" system would become totally self-powering, taking all its input and buy viagra online canada output energy directly from the seething vacuum itself

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