Okayama Graduate School of Science and Technology is one of many developing solar cells and batteries, but its research team, led by one Professor Naoshi Ikeda, has a unique approach. Instead of silicon, currently the standard component in solar cells, the Okayama team is using an iron oxide compound it calls “green ferrite,” or GF. Professor Ikeda has gone so far as to claim his product will produce 100x the amount of energy as a traditional silicon solar cell.
Part of the increase in energy production would come from the infra-red spectrum — solar cells do not currently convert heat into electricity, but apparently the green ferrite has that capability. Professor Ikeda speculates that any area collecting waste heat (the ceiling of your kitchen, for example) could serve as a home for a GF solar cell.
The team’s goal is to create a battery capable of generating 1KW of energy for 1/1000th of the cost of a traditional silicon solar cell, which comes out to about 1000 yen ($12 American) per GF cell. The GF cells, which currently use green ferrite in a powdered form, should also allow for some flexibility in solar panel shape, which means they could be wrapped around things like chimneys or telephone poles.
As the early tests have been fairly successful, the Okayama team is hoping for a usable product by 2013.
Source | Picture: MSN Sankei
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...