Solar energy funnel takes a new approach to collecting solar powerNovember 28, 2012
Solar energy technology takes new turn
Solar energy is quickly becoming one of the most prominent forms of power in the world. Many of the world’s governments have been working on adopting alternative energy for the sake of the environment and to benefit from its promising economic potential. Solar energy has thus received a great deal of support because of its capabilities to meet the energy demand of consumers around the world. Solar energy technology has recently taken a radical new turn thanks to Ju Li, a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Solar-funnel can absorb broader spectrum of light
Ju Li has proposed a “solar energy funnel” that is designed to harness the power of the sun through a broader spectrum of light. The concept is meant to take advantage of materials under elastic strain. This strain changes the atomic structure of a material that is used for the solar-funnel, allowing the material to absorb different wavelengths of light. This strain also created a structure in which electrons can be captured. Li notes that electrons are literally funneled to the center of the material through electronic forces rather than gravity.
Funnel could take advantage of invisible light
Harnessing a broader spectrum of light has a great deal of potential in terms of energy generation. Much of the sun’s energy takes the form of invisible light, which cannot be seen by the naked eye but holds vast potential in terms of power. If this light can be harnessed in a more efficient and effective manner, solar energy could become much more attractive. The solar-funnel could accomplish this task, if it is made up of the appropriate materials to do so.
New technology could make solar energy more appealing
The growing popularity of solar energy is increasing the need for new technologies. New technology may help governments and consumers become more accommodating of solar energy systems. If Li’s solar-funnel can prove that it is capable of harnessing more power from the sun in an efficient manner, it could become a staple in the solar energy industry.