Friday, June 06, 2008

Free The Electrons

In keeping with the promise Tueday to return to more tech/transport/planning content for your consideration:

Researchers demonstrate 'avalanche effect' in solar cells
Coventional solar cells, one photon (light particle) can release precisely one electron. The creation of these free electrons ensures that the solar cell works and can provide power. The more electrons released, the higher the output of the solar cell.

In some semiconducting nanocrystals, however, one photon can release two or three electrons, hence the term avalanche effect. This could theoretically lead to a maximum output of 44 percent in a solar cell comprising the correct semiconducting nanocrystals. Moreover, these solar cells can be manufactured relatively cheaply.

Right now the best commercial panels are 16-18%. 44% could reduce the "roofprint" by 2/3rds and likewise make many many more locations available. The Dawg House would need ~1200sf to meet its electrical needs. We have that but @44% efficiencies we'd need only 300sf because location and orientation could be optimized for the smaller package. If the price was right add another 100sf and recharge a plug in hybrid as well.

And what better time than when the oil bubble closes above $139.


aaron said...

first 1st murst etc.

BTW, I agree with PV. Oil will go higher. It may or may not be a bubble. What it will be is volatile as hell. Wait until the IEA releases their report in November on the max amount of oil that can be produced daily. I suspect the sharp reduction in the max output will put a huge asswhippin on the price of oil(skyward).

aaron said...

Sorry that last comment was a bit unreadable. I was watching the market in total meltdown mode.

The IEA is currently working on a report that will detail in one section how much oil can be extracted on a daily basis from the 100 largest oil fields. Right now we use 87 million BPD worldwide.

Recent articles on Russia state that they have already hit their max output and even with large investments will not be able to hit that number again for several years. You think it's any better in the middle east, Venezuela or parts of Africa? NO WAY. Besides...what incentive do they have to invest in the infrastructure so that they can make the product they pull from the ground worth less(by increasing supply). yes high oil prices are here to stay and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

This will in turn lead to higher food prices(which we are seeing) which will lead to more folks starving which will lead to more wars, which will lead to higher prices of oil...well you see where I'm headed with this.

Stock up on guns and ammo. :)

PS. Folks worried about their home value are focusing on the smallest of issues!

PPS. Rob I am looking into investing in a PV system for my home. Got any suggestions on where to start in terms of research(costs, manufacturers, installers, what to look for, etc).
Thanks in advance

Casey Serin said...

Robbo, sure you can put solar cells on your roof and use them to power your house and car... "It's all good", as one effeminate pseudo-religious criminal likes to put it.

But if you genuinely think oil is headed to $500/bbl, all of the state's fraudsters and criminal elements (like me) will simply come over to your house at night and strip the cells for re-sale or our own use. We already do it for copper wiring and other scrap metal -- I imagine a sheet of solar cells would be far more profitable!! :-p

Rob Dawg said...

Good point CS, solar cells and a night scope for Mrs. Dawg's sniper rifle.

Casey Serin said...

Your sniper rifle doesn't scare me... what are you going to hit? I'm so thin nowadays that when I turn sideways I disappear! ;-)

wagga said...

The thin crim may have come up with an original idea. A cursory google search on "solar cell robbery" found no cells gone AWOL. Maybe "Stolen solar cells" would yield... Yup, lots. Not even original.

Akubi said...

Happy Fishnet Friday!
Zillow Book currently features some beefcake for Casey’s viewing pleasure.
In less happy news, a part of me wonders if we're reaching the point the former Soviet Union reached when it all fell to pieces.

tj & the bear said...

Roubini discusses a plausible scenario wherein the Middle East erupts into a wide conflict prior to the election. That'd juice oil prices just a bit.

incessant_din said...

Won't help you or me, Rob. Since the crystals identified are lead-based, California will outlaw them, and we'll be at the mercy of the Solar Sheiks in Nevada and Baja California, where the solar plants will be located. Still importing energy and exporting environmental devastation.

Northern Renter said...

I don't have much faith in that particular scientific journal. Anything written in Nano Letters is too small to read.