Heartfelt Efficiency (whenisnow) wrote in off_grid,
Heartfelt Efficiency

A New Solar Power

I'm new to this community.

I have an idea regarding a more efficient solar powered renewable energy solution.

Note that current solar panel technology is roughly 2% efficient.  I propose the use of magnifying lenses to concentrate sunlight, direct the laser's heat toward a liquid, and then use the liquid's subsequent molecular excitement to move other items that might, say, charge a battery.  (Think of a wind turbine that is, rather than being turned by open air currents, is turned by a circulating, closed system of heated liquid or gas.) Now, many questions remain: what liquid to use?  is the liquid's excitement harnessed as the pressure of steam (pneumatic) or in some other manner (perhaps hydraulic)?  would it be best to use one large magnifying lens or many medium-sized ones?

I am seeking answers and suggestions.  Thank you for your time.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
My suggestion would be Google and a few hours time spent searching.

First off, commercial solar panels are approaching 20% efficiency
Second, solar concentrator power plants have been around since the 70s
Not a bad idea. The engineering of much of this has been worked out and a number of plants have been built. It's simply not efficient in small scale applications.


efficiency PV panels: 15% to 22%
efficiency solar thermal: 20% to 40%

Steam turbine seems to work well with many heat sources. Your idea is well taken regarding using a liquid other than water. Various oils are commonly used as heat transfer fluids.

Mirrors are much cheaper than lenses and almost as efficient. Both need to be kept clear of dust for maximum efficiency.

You are asking the right questions but don't appear to have an engineering background. Study math and science, much of the materials you need are available online and the rest will be in your public library; if this stuff excites you, consider pursuing a degree in engineering.
As pointed out above, it's very much an engineering issue. In the transfer of light to heat you lose energy, heat to X you lose energy, X to N you lose energy, and No to battery you'll lose energy as well. The less transfers between other type of energy and electricity, the better, but there's still the large issue of % lost, even in one transfer.
These are somewhat lower on efficiency an are still above 5%
What is the efficiency of PowerFilm® modules?
Overall efficiency is strongly dependent on the module design configuration which determines the percentage of the area which is actually collecting sunlight. You can use 5% as a starting point. We have ongoing research and development programs to continue to improve the efficiency of PowerFilm modules. Note: There are widely varying standards for module efficiency numbers. We encourage you to test actual commercially manufactured modules on a consistent basis.
Thin Film Solar Modules
I think you can expect much higher efficiencies from mono and polycrystalline solar panels like this 20 watt
Then there the multijunction solar modules, hitting 40% efficiency in the lab. Multi-Junction Solar Module
I also think it is not only efficiency that is import, it is cost per watt that drives this growth.
Try Photo Violactic (mispelled)