Tag - breakthrough

Patent filing claims solar energy ‘breakthrough’

This is very interesting, to say the least.  I take it seriously because Greg Gordon is one of the best investigative reporters for McClatchy.  When a senior journalist with a great track record bites at this story twice in the same day, I can indulge my fantasy that there is a technological solution that will let us off the hook in many areas.

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Patent filing claims solar energy ‘breakthrough By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Washington Bureau, May 8, 2013’

WASHINGTON — In a U.S. patent application, a little-known Maryland inventor claims a stunning solar energy breakthrough that promises to end the planet’s reliance on fossil fuels at a fraction of the current cost – a transformation that also could blunt global warming.

Inventor Ronald Ace said that his flat-panel “Solar Traps,” which can be mounted on rooftops or used in electric power plants, will shatter decades-old scientific and technological barriers that have stymied efforts to make solar energy a cheap, clean and reliable alternative.

“This is a fundamental scientific and environmental discovery,” Ace said. “This invention can meet about 92 percent of the world’s energy needs.”

An inventor’s winding path to solar energy By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Washington  Bureau,  May 8, 2013

Breakthrough for Solar Power – New Fabrication

Science Daily Science News

solar1Feb. 27, 2013 — A novel fabrication technique developed by UConn engineering professor Brian Willis could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve today’s solar energy systems.

For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power.

The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels. Read More