Infrared solar panels even work at night, but can't output energy

Ryan Block
R. Block|02.02.08

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Infrared solar panels even work at night, but can't output energy

Solar's had a pretty rough time breaking the ~40% efficiency level over the years, but Idaho National Laboratory researchers have apparently developed a nano-antenna array capable of collecting power not from photonic energy as is done today, but from infrared energy that could be harvested in any weather (or even at night). The cell production process is even supposed to be ridiculously cheap compared to making standard silicon photovoltaic cells, but, as always, there's a rub. The grid collects its oscillating IR energy at ten thousand billion times per second, which is proving to be a challenge to the nerds behind the tech, who are working on a way to convert that to the 50-60Hz power that the world uses. So yeah, it might be a few more years before this one pans out (if it does pan out).

[Via EcoGeek]
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