Saturday, October 31, 2009

Powers of 2

The creative act knows no bounds. If one is really good with their specific discipline whether it be painting, music, architecture or brick laying, artistry comes forth from putting together seemingly dissimilar ideas to create something new and, in the case of tech, something useful. This certainly apples when ... "a group of researchers at Georgia Tech ...made dye-sensitized solar cells with a much higher effective surface area by wrapping the cells around optical fibers. These fiber solar cells are six times more efficient than a zinc oxide solar cell with the same surface area, and if they can be built using cheap polymer fibers, they shouldn't be significantly more expensive to make."

Cost, reliability and efficiency has been the bane of solar for years. If this research proves out, the implications for solar and the beneficial impact it can have on society and the world knows no bounds.

"Fiber-optic solar cells could also be used in ways that aren't possible currently. Zhong Lin Wang, professor of materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech, says fiber solar cells would take up less roof area than planar cells because long lengths of the fibers could be nestled into the walls of a house like electrical wiring."

Seen below is a schematic depicting the form factor for fiber solar cells. No doubt, this tech rocks.

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