Dotting the Ions
In order to move away from the fossil fuel economy of today
to the solar hydrogen economy of tomorrow,
before the specter of Peak Oil rises its head above
the waters of sorrow,
Humankind needs these few things.
We need really good wind turbines,
that produce electrical energy at 3 cents/kWh or better.
We've got that.
We need really good green building techniques and materials.
We've got that.
And we need nano based power paints and other solar strategies
that will give us cost effective solar electric energy.
We've almost got that.
Not so long ago, I wrote a story about Power Paints
and the work at the University of Toronto.
Well now, the national solar labs have discoved them too.
Quantum Dot Materials Can Reduce Heat, Boost Electrical Output
"Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have shown that nanotechnology may greatly increase the amount of electricity produced by solar cells.
In a paper published in a May issue of the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters journal, an NREL team found that tiny "nanocrystals," also known as "quantum dots," produce as many as three electrons from one high energy photon of sunlight. When today's photovoltaic solar cells absorb a photon of sunlight, the energy gets converted to at most one electron, and the rest is lost as heat.
The research demonstrates the potential for solar, or photovoltaic, cells that reduce wasteful heat and maximize the amount of the sun's energy that is converted to electricity—a key step toward making solar energy more cost-competitive with conventional power sources.
The findings are further confirmation of pioneering work by Nozik, who in 2000 predicted that quantum dots could increase the efficiency of solar cells, through a process now termed "multiple exciton generation," or "MEG".
"We have shown that solar cells based on quantum dots theoretically could convert more than 65 percent of the sun's energy into electricity, approximately doubling the efficiency of solar cells," Nozik said. The best cells today convert about 33 percent of the sun's energy into electricity. "
So, why the national renewable energy lab is discovering nanodots these many months after the University of Toronto announced their work is probably worthy of some good conspiracy theory gossip. Maybe it's pride, maybe it's funding, but in any event, it's good to know that the word on the technology is definitely out.
What is particularly enteresting is that you can now buy your very own quantum dots today at American Dye right here.
Already Evident technology is employing the technology with Konarka.
We need a really good transportation appliance that uses electric fuel.
We don't have that yet.
We need a new kind of approach that puts the electric motor in the wheel itself, so that the plug in hybrid or all electric car with range extender generator is designed from the ground up to be an electric fuel transportation appliance. And, we need affordable high density batteries.
Then this came in from Clean Edge today.
Mitsubishi Motors to Focus on
Next-Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries and In-Wheel Motors
Clean Edge News
May 16, 2005
"Mitsubishi Motors has chosen to center its development of next- generation electric vehicle technology on in-wheel motors and on lithium-ion batteries that the company has been working on for several years.
Currently working on a test vehicle that utilizes these technologies, which it has dubbed the Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle (MIEV) concept, the company also envisages their application to hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.The in-wheel motor makes it possible to regulate drive torque and braking force independently at each wheel without the need for any transmission, drive shaft or other complex mechanical components.
The fact that the drive system is housed inside the wheel itself offers significantly greater design freedom and also makes it easier to locate such space-consuming components as the battery system, fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks used in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
According to the company, lithium-ion battery technology offers superior specific energy, specific power, and life over other types of rechargeable batteries and as such is expected to contribute to higher top speeds, extended cruising ranges and to greater weight reductions in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles."
Now all we need is a boiler that burns hydrogen and oxygen that is made from our surplus power from the sun during the day and our surpluses from the wind at night. If the reaction is submerged on the inside of the boiler, 100% of the energy can be used to create the steam to drive existing turbines. The waste heat on the back side of the turbine can be sent back to the electrolyzer to boost the efficiency of that 70% efficient process.
Put all of these together and you have most of the pieces of the technological puzzle you need to move forward today to mitigate the effects of climate change, peak oil, and the resource wars that our leaders seem so eager to continue.
We don't need nuclear and we don't need clean coal.
We have the technology.
Do we have the intent?