[geeks] [rescue] Computerfests (was: first real server hardware) -OT
wa2egp at att.net
wa2egp at att.net
Wed Apr 28 12:46:05 CDT 2004
> Tue, 27 Apr 2004 @ 21:57 -0600, Dan Duncan said:
> > Great! Solar panels have always had a horrendous efficiency. Their
> > saving grace is that you can capture a small percentage of what was
> > already a free energy source.
> For thermal solar panels, I always thought the basic problem is that it
> absorbs light and radiates the heat you are trying to capture. Hard to
> increase what you capture without also increasing what you radiate.
There has been some work on combo designs. Solar heating and solar panels
together for houses but some of the books I've read claim it was too hard
to contruct and maintain. I dunno....
> For generating electricity, I thought it was simply that light doesn't
> stimulate much electron movement. How are they increasing the
> efficiency of that?
Find materials where it is easier to push electrons around. Silicon ain't
the only thing out there. I've read of some metal-polymer combination
that is being investigated with might approach silicon in efficiency and
a heck of a lot cheaper (and greener) to produce.
> I wonder if there is enough power in urban noise to generate power from
> Oh, and years ago someone created a device that worked like a solar
> cell, except that it worked on most any form of radiation: radio waves
> for example.
> I can't help but think that battery companies will not like the idea of
> a small device that generates much power.
I can think of three problems with research and development of solar energy:
#1. It is spread out so thin (J/m^2) that it might not provide enough for
the demand. #2. No body owns the sun. Once you buy the panel, that's it. Not like a
furnace where you still have to buy the fossil fuel.
#3. Because of some "high tech" materials and #2, the price is high so the
average person will still use fossil fuel. It's cheaper to replace all of your
incandescent light with fluorescent than install a solar panel system for the same
reduce of power from the grid.
Look how many people use alkaline batteries rather than rechargable even
though the cost of the energy is ten times as much in the long run...the
initial cost is cheaper.
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