12-Year-Old May Hold Key to Solar Energy

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  1. #1
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    12-Year-Old May Hold Key to Solar Energy






    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Henry - PC Magazine
    Fri Sep 19, 7:15 AM ET



    One significant problem with existing solar technology is that it's not terribly efficient at harvesting solar energy and turning it into electricity.

    Solar technology is improving all the time, but one 12-year-old boy may have the key to making solar panels that can harness 500 times the light of a traditional solar cell. William Yuan is a seventh grader in Oregon whose project, titled "A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light," may change the energy industry and make solar energy far easier to harness and distribute.

    At the heart of Yuan's project is a special solar cell that can harness both visible and ultraviolet light. Most solar cells in use today are either photovoltaic, meaning they harness only visible light, or thermal. While visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light are all heavily scattered or absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, ultraviolet light comes in at shorter wavelengths and with higher energy than both visible and infrared light. Ultraviolet light can provide more energy to a collector than other, longer-wavelength members of the electromagnetic spectrum. Yuan's solar cells are not just innovative for their collection of UV light, but also because they're engineered to stand freely in three dimensions (which allows them to collect more light) and make use of carbon nanotubes, which allow the cell to distribute the energy it collects without dissipating as much as traditional cells do.

    Yuan is looking for a manufacturer to invest in building his new solar cell, and likely won't have a problem finding a partner. Yuan's solar cells have earned him a $25,000 scholarship to fund his education and research, a fellowship at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, and a host of other awards in science and engineering. Yuan isn't the only young inventor making a difference, more and more young innovators are changing the face of clean technology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Harding

    I interviewed William for my story on KATU-TV. I want to clarify some information. William researched 3D solar cells for two years, as his own personal homework assignment. He took research from Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, and a nanotechnology lab at PSU and then enhanced, modified and improved the technology. Experts with the Davidson scholarship reviewed his work as well as local professors.

    And no, he's not homeschooled.

    He goes to a unique public school where they have a special program called Summa. It's for kids who are in the 99th percentile in BOTH reading and math.

    I have to tell you, when I talked with him I felt like I was talking with a 30 year old professor, he's so intelligent. Plus, I hear, he's a great kid and I have no doubt, he'll make a wonderful contribution to the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidson Institute For Talent Development

    "In his project, 'A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light,' William invented a novel solar panel that enables light absorption from visible to ultraviolet light. He designed carbon nanotubes to overcome the barriers of electron movement, doubling the light-electricity conversion efficiency. William also developed a model for solar towers and a computer program to simulate and optimize the tower parameters. His optimized design provides 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than the cutting-edge, three dimensional solar cell."
    Fucking Determined!

  2. #2
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    pretty sad for everyone if it takes a 12 year old to figure out the most efficient way to utilize solar energy.





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  3. #3
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    holy shit.

    you don't get what you wish for ~ you get what you work for

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    We could have a 100 percent efficient solar module and still be up shit's creek with only one paddle.....if there is no place to store that energy then what use is it.....sure we can fit more in one spot but you can only store so many batteries or electrolyzed water to fill hydrogen tanks for use with fuel cells(still gonna need lots of distilled water)......


    And ever since I've been in the business I've said that having a panel that can use visible and UV range and then backed with a thermovoltaic conductor to make energy from the heat loss would be so very efficient.....

    One of my biggest ideas has been to make a tree like structure with small solar cells(this 3'd one would be awesome since it could squeeze more power out of a small space, and with a thermovoltaic backing it would squeeze even more) shaped like leaves and cascaded down the structure on branches it would conserve space and collect optimum energy through out the day and in every season. What would make this even better is to have it be able to catch wind and spin sections of the tree like a wind generator thus collecting that energy at nigh and on cloudy stormy days. This would be the ultimate. Hell I could go one step further and have the cells channel rain water into a separate part of the branches which would be hollow tubes, this water could spin a hydro generator which could make even more energy in less than optimal solar conditions.....
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniclion View Post
    We could have a 100 percent efficient solar module and still be up shit's creek with only one paddle.....if there is no place to store that energy then what use is it.....sure we can fit more in one spot but you can only store so many batteries or electrolyzed water to fill hydrogen tanks for use with fuel cells(still gonna need lots of distilled water)......


    And ever since I've been in the business I've said that having a panel that can use visible and UV range and then backed with a thermovoltaic conductor to make energy from the heat loss would be so very efficient.....

    One of my biggest ideas has been to make a tree like structure with small solar cells(this 3'd one would be awesome since it could squeeze more power out of a small space, and with a thermovoltaic backing it would squeeze even more) shaped like leaves and cascaded down the structure on branches it would conserve space and collect optimum energy through out the day and in every season. What would make this even better is to have it be able to catch wind and spin sections of the tree like a wind generator thus collecting that energy at nigh and on cloudy stormy days. This would be the ultimate. Hell I could go one step further and have the cells channel rain water into a separate part of the branches which would be hollow tubes, this water could spin a hydro generator which could make even more energy in less than optimal solar conditions.....
    Manic for president
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  6. #6
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    On a completely separate note do you have add/adhd?
    This is my journal. Click it and such

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    Not possible.

    Do you remember when you went to school? Then you were asked to do something. But if you brought your thing too perfect the teachers would get suspicious and who would they blame for your job being too perfect?

    His parents did it or maybe an older brother. Not the kid.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishOrCutBait View Post
    On a completely separate note do you have add/adhd?
    I'm dyslexic, not sure if I am manic-depressive but I have my moments(might just be seasonal mood swings), I thought all American's were ADD....why?
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniclion View Post
    I'm dyslexic, not sure if I am manic-depressive but I have my moments(might just be seasonal mood swings), I thought all American's were ADD....why?
    The way your thought processes seem to progress on some things reminds me of my friend, he has ADHD, but it may just be that you two work things out in similar ways, mentally.
    This is my journal. Click it and such

    "
    tried and true theory on one's self is probably the only non-biased proof that something works for someone." - juggernaut

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishOrCutBait View Post
    The way your thought processes seem to progress on some things reminds me of my friend, he has ADHD, but it may just be that you two work things out in similar ways, mentally.
    I don't have thought processes, thing's just stream out of my mind like pissing in the wind, if they happen to land just right I can connect the dots and form a better picture...
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

  11. #11
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    The generation of 12 year olds now are vary smart. They will change the world when there old enough to run it.

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