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View Diary: Nearly triple efficiency and lower cost: thin-film solar cell breakthrough (281 comments)

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  •  hmmm (0+ / 0-)

    This seems filled with problems to me.

    For this to work, the nano filled water has to be inside some type of container that is transparent. The obvious material is glass. So the sunlight passes through the glass, hits these nano particles, heating them up producing steam.

    Here's the elephant in the room problem with this concept... Something like 80%+ of all the electricity in the world is produced with steam. I can guarantee one thing about EVERY steam based power plant... Not a single one uses glass steam pipes. Because, well... they will explode!

    Ignoring that annoying problem. If you compare this to a more traditional design of a steel steam pipe inside of an evacuated glass tube (insulator). One way to increase the efficiency is to reduce the amount of reflectivity off of the steam pipe. So maybe these nano particles are less reflective than say black paint or black anodized steel? I don't know. But boiling water with the sun in evacuated tubes is hugely efficient to begin with. FAR more efficient than PVs.

    As far as handling containers. What kind of containers are you talking about? Sunlight passing through evacuated glass can boil water inside of steel steam pipes leaving the glass relatively cool to the touch.

    •   But the water in the container doesn't get hot. (0+ / 0-)

      In demonstration Rice used ice water.  The ice in the container stayed as ice, even when quantities of steam appeared above the container.  Collection point does not need to be transparent.

      "Historically, the most terrible things--war, genocide and slavery--have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." --Howard Zinn

      by NCJan on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:23:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the pipe isn't transparent (0+ / 0-)

        How does the sunlight pass through to the nano particles?

        For example, if you put the ice water into a steel pipe and shined sunlight on it, are you suggesting the nano particles would create steam and the ice would remain?

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