Friday, March 02, 2007

A Giant Leap For Solar Panels Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

(Hat Tip: Centauri Dreams)

It looks like several scientists have developed a new film coating that produces almost no reflection of light! Although this material has obvious uses in telescopes, LED's and the study of dark matter, what makes this film material very valuable is its application towards solar panels.

(ScienceNow) Narcissus beware! Scientists have created the world's first film that casts practically no reflection. A vast improvement over current nonreflective materials, the new technology could revolutionize solar cells, intensify light-emitting diodes, and possibly help solve mysteries in quantum mechanics by mimicking a "black body," an object that absorbs all light.

For years, scientists have been seeking ways to make certain materials less reflective. Solar cells, for example, would be far more efficient if they reflected less light and absorbed more of it as energy. To achieve this goal, researchers have concentrated on reducing a material's refractive index--a measure of its ability of to reflect light. Ice has a refractive index of 1.31, for example; air has an index of 1. But making low-reflective materials, which are also thin enough to serve as coatings, has proven tricky.

The current material has a reflectivity of 1.05, which will definitely improve how much energy solar panels will be able to absorb. This technology could easily translate into more energetic solar panels for satellites and lunar colonies as well as more distant projects such as space elevator climbers and solar powered satellites (SPS).

Note: For a more indepth reading, please click here.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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