Nanowires bring new possibilities to solar power26th Mar 2013
Scientists have collaborated to study the effects of nanowires on sunlight and solar power.
Nanowires are extremely thin wires - they are like electrical wires, only a whole lot smaller.
Scientists from the Nano-Science Center at the Niels Bohr Institut in Denmark, and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have worked together to investigate the part nanowires play in concentrating sunlight.
Their research found that nanowires are able to concentrated sunlight at an intensity more than 15 times the standard rate - and this could help in the development of a new kind of more efficient solar cell.
This discovery has established a new efficiency limit for solar cells.
"It's exciting as a researcher to move the theoretical limits, as we know. Although it does not sound like much, that the limit is moved by only a few percent, it will have a major impact on the development of solar cells, exploitation of nanowire solar rays and perhaps the extraction of energy at international level," said Peter Krogstrup, a PhD graduate of the Niels Bohr Institute.
"However, it will take some years before production of solar cells consisting of nanowires becomes a reality."
According to an article by Lucas Mearian published on ComputerWorld March 25, Nanowires also have the potential to be applied in areas of electronics and quantum computers.
Posted by Mike Peacock