This is a quantum leap over our current solar photovoltaic technology … if it does come into maturity and production, it might boost efficiency of solar energy capture by three or four times!
Compiled by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
March 8, 2013
Solar Power Today made the following announcement on February 6, 2013:
- If it’s up to Brian Willis, we will soon quite literally be tuning in to the sun. The University of Connecticut professor has patented a technique to manufacture nanosized antenna arrays that have the capability to efficiently convert sunlight into usable electric power.
- In theory, these very small antenna arrays can harvest over 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and convert it into electric power. These are called “rectennas” due to their ability to absorb the alternating current induced by sunlight and directly rectify it to direct current. In contrast to existing solar silicon solar panels which mainly work within a specified band gap, rectennas can be tuned to harvest sunlight in the whole solar spectrum which makes it very efficient.
- Brian Willis, a University of Connecticut engineering professor, was able to discover a way to manufacture a working rectenna device. The process is called selective area atomic layer deposition (ALD) and it can precisely coat the tip of the device with layers of individual copper atoms to achieve a gap of about 1.5 nanometers, a critical size because this creates an ultra-fast tunnel that enables the maximum transfer of electricity.