The impact of nanoscale science on solar energy production
 Created by      darshana      patel     brp – english,      prantij (s.k.)2
What is solar energy?• Energy produced by       Photovoltaic (solar)                                 panel  the sun• Clean...
energy from the sun is           abundant• Solar power     systems     installed in the     areas defined     by the dark ...
Current u.s. energy    demand                  • The US consumes                    ~25% of the world’s                   ...
projeCted u.s. energydemand in 2050 •                 To meet projected                 U.S. demand in                 205...
solar panel use today Large companies like Google,    Walmart, and Microsoft use    solar energy to partially    power so...
photovoltaiC solar Cells• Generate electricity directly  from sunlight• 2 Main types:                       Silicon-based ...
solar Cells are Converters of           energy…                        • Solar cells are devices that                     ...
…but not all energy is        Converted     • Like chloroplasts in plants, solar cells can only       absorb specific wave...
a little baCkground on light• Different colors of light have different wavelengths and     different energies11
absorption of light     by atoms• Absorption occurs only when the energy of  the light equals the energy of transition of ...
absorption of light by     moleCules  Molecules have   multiple atoms bonded   together  More energy states in   molecul...
absorption of light by ioniC     Compounds• Electrons can jump  between “bands”• Incident light with  energy ≥ than the  “...
so What does this mean for solar         Cells?• In dye-sensitized solar     cells…     – Talk about highest    occupied m...
a Closer look at solar Cells• How do traditional,  silicon-based solar                     Silicon-based  cells and newer,...
hoW a siliCon-based solar     Cell Works• Light with energy greater than the band gap energy  of Si is absorbed• Energy is...
siliCon-based solar Cell     attributes• Expensive   – Made in high vacuum at high     heat   – High manufacturing costs• ...
hoW a dye-sensitized Cell Works• Light with high enough energy excites electrons in  dye molecules• Excited electrons  inf...
dye-sensitized solar Cells• Relatively inexpensive   – Made in non-vacuum setting     mainly at room temperature   – Relat...
dye-sensitized and siliCon-based solar Cells Compared      Dye-Sensitized      • Traditional        Relatively          ...
solar eleCtriC poWer plants• Harness solar power to  generate electricity• Main types:     – Solar thermal energy       • ...
solar heating systems• Direct heating of fluid; no conversion to electricity• Components   – solar thermal     collectors ...
Wind energy is solar energy Wind is driven by solar  heating Largest and fastest growing  solar energy conversion  syste...
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  • Solar slide show

    1. 1. The impact of nanoscale science on solar energy production
    2. 2.  Created by darshana patel  brp – english, prantij (s.k.)2
    3. 3. What is solar energy?• Energy produced by Photovoltaic (solar) panel the sun• Clean, renewable source of energy• Harnessed by solar collection methods such as solar cells• Converted into usable energy such as electricity Sun and electrical power lines Set of solar panels3
    4. 4. energy from the sun is abundant• Solar power systems installed in the areas defined by the dark disks could meet the worlds current total energy demand 4
    5. 5. Current u.s. energy demand • The US consumes ~25% of the world’s energy, but has only 4.5% of its population 20 TW • Solar cells would need to cover an area comparable to the size of Texas to meet US energy demand today5
    6. 6. projeCted u.s. energydemand in 2050 • To meet projected U.S. demand in 2050, solar cells would need to cover 20 TW approximately one third of the U.S. 180,000 TW of sunlight hit the earth every day6
    7. 7. solar panel use today Large companies like Google, Walmart, and Microsoft use solar energy to partially power some of their facilities Solar panels being tested on Walmart store Solar panels on Microsoft building7
    8. 8. photovoltaiC solar Cells• Generate electricity directly from sunlight• 2 Main types: Silicon-based solar cell – Single-crystal silicon (traditional) • Widespread • Expensive to manufacture – Dye-sensitized (“nano”) • Newer, less proven Dye-sensitized • Inexpensive to manufacture solar cell • Flexible8
    9. 9. solar Cells are Converters of energy… • Solar cells are devices that take light energy as input and convert it into Light energy electrical energy Electrical energy (carried through wires) Solar cell -converts light energy to electricity 9
    10. 10. …but not all energy is Converted • Like chloroplasts in plants, solar cells can only absorb specific wavelengths of light. • In both, light that isn’t absorbed is either transmitted through or reflected back. • Whether a certain wavelength of lights gets absorbed depends on its energy. Chlorophyll molecules absorb blue and red light, but reflect green light10
    11. 11. a little baCkground on light• Different colors of light have different wavelengths and different energies11
    12. 12. absorption of light by atoms• Absorption occurs only when the energy of the light equals the energy of transition of an electron Light Single electron transition in an isolated atom12
    13. 13. absorption of light by moleCules  Molecules have multiple atoms bonded together  More energy states in molecules than atoms  More electron “jumps” Smallest ∆E possible possible - light with a range of frequencies are absorbed13
    14. 14. absorption of light by ioniC Compounds• Electrons can jump between “bands”• Incident light with energy ≥ than the “band gap” energy can be used to excite the electrons14
    15. 15. so What does this mean for solar Cells?• In dye-sensitized solar cells… – Talk about highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO)• In single-crystal silicon solar cells… – Talk about “conduction band” (excited states) and “valence band” (ground states)15
    16. 16. a Closer look at solar Cells• How do traditional, silicon-based solar Silicon-based cells and newer, dye- solar cell sensitized solar cells work?• What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of cell? Dye-sensitized solar cell16
    17. 17. hoW a siliCon-based solar Cell Works• Light with energy greater than the band gap energy of Si is absorbed• Energy is given to an electron in the crystal lattice• The energy excites the electron; it is free to move • A positive “hole” is left in the electron’s place • This separation of electrons and holes creates a voltage and a current17
    18. 18. siliCon-based solar Cell attributes• Expensive – Made in high vacuum at high heat – High manufacturing costs• Need TLC – Fragile, rigid, thick• Long return on investment – Takes 4 years to produce energy savings equivalent to cost of production18
    19. 19. hoW a dye-sensitized Cell Works• Light with high enough energy excites electrons in dye molecules• Excited electrons infused into semiconducting TiO2, transported out of cell• Positive “holes” left in dye molecules• Separation of excited electrons and “holes” creates a voltage19
    20. 20. dye-sensitized solar Cells• Relatively inexpensive – Made in non-vacuum setting mainly at room temperature – Relatively simple manufacturing process• Need little TLC – Thin, lightweight, flexible• Short return on investment – Takes approx 3 months to produce energy savings equivalent to cost of production20
    21. 21. dye-sensitized and siliCon-based solar Cells Compared  Dye-Sensitized • Traditional  Relatively – Expensive inexpensive – Need TLC  Need little TLC – Long return on  Short return on investment investment21
    22. 22. solar eleCtriC poWer plants• Harness solar power to generate electricity• Main types: – Solar thermal energy • Has mirrored surface that Array of mirrored solar collectors at reflects sunlight to heat up FPL Energy site in California liquid to make steam to generate electricity – Photovoltaic • Uses photovoltaic cells that absorb direct sunlight (as discussed previously)22 Concentrated solar collector (parabolic)
    23. 23. solar heating systems• Direct heating of fluid; no conversion to electricity• Components – solar thermal collectors – fluid system to move heat (not electricity) – reservoir to stock heat for later use• Common uses Example system with water heated by solar collector and used to supplement – Heat water for home hot water radiator or pool23
    24. 24. Wind energy is solar energy Wind is driven by solar heating Largest and fastest growing solar energy conversion system Wind “farm” in Wind turbines24 California
    25. 25. 25
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