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Old 19-08-2011, 21:10   #16
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Originally Posted by Capt. lulz
Where is there evidence of this?
On the internet... Sorry, I'm using my phone and can't (or don't feel like) googling for the relevant links. It's not new information though, I heard it through popular channels and Im sure it can ve found with a few google searches.
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Old 19-08-2011, 21:45   #17
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Re: 7th grader makes solar power breakthrough.

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Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post

My guess is the order of branch and leaf design is for balance and airflow, many plants move their leaves to follow the sun, others use their leaves to collect and channel water to the roots. It only takes a quick glance to see that leaves only grow where they are likely to get sun, none in the middle of a tightly packed tree or bush.

T1 Terry
I wish I could reproduce a quote I heard many years ago about the nature of understanding - particularly in science. It went something like this:
"You spend several years in college (and before) learning about science and the nature of the universe, then you spend several years in graduate school learning that most of what you thought you knew you don't actually know."
I applaud this guy for his effort and his perseverance and it may do the best possible thing in creating new questions; unfortunately, like Terry, I think he did not pose the correct premise in the first place... I wouldn't go re-arranging the solar panels just yet...

Michael
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Old 19-08-2011, 23:49   #18
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Re: 7th grader makes solar power breakthrough.

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Where is there evidence of this?
Kyocera I think hold the tittle at the moment at 18% genuine efficiency but that is on a per cell basis. By angling the panel to face the sun or reflecting the sun to concentrate it on the panel increases output big time. The high tech solar trackers use GPS referencing to get the idea angle but that only works in perfectly clear sky where there is no water reflection. The sun shining through very light cloud on the water can up the panel output by over 30% alone so there is no sure fire guaranteed method of getting better output. On a total day input rating portable panels regularly moved to optimise input can collect 50% or greater total input but many of us can find better things to do than shift panels all day.
An interesting experiment would be to mount polished stainless sheeting on top of the mast to reflect the mirrored sunlight off the ocean back onto the panels, any body interested in trying it out to see if it works

T1 Terry
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Old 20-08-2011, 03:15   #19
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Re: 7th grader makes solar power breakthrough.

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Brilliant, Perhaps a solar "Tree" aray on the mast
He is getting there, but suppose you used used a laminated sail manufacturing technique with layers of silicone as small solar panels all joined together. What is the the sail area of an average yacht compared to even 4 or 5 solar panels on a frame? huge. Okay it only works when your sailing, but that could be a lot of amps that then feed to an electric motor for drive when its sunny but no wind perhaps. The part about reflected light is interesting too, I certainly get sun burnt more sailing.

I was also musing over the idea of using optic fibres, I seem to remember at college light could be made to enter a piece of glass but then the light made to travel along the inside reflecting off the surfaces.

Feel free to use either idea, just cut me in for a percentage to pay off the mortgage oh and purchase a new 40ft cat

I have no doubt that existing panels will improve in efficiency and perhaps 3x is achievable, it just can't soon enough for the US and Europe if we want to reduce our reliance on other peoples oil and gas.

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Old 20-08-2011, 05:01   #20
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Re: 7th grader makes solar power breakthrough.

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An interesting experiment would be to mount polished stainless sheeting on top of the mast to reflect the mirrored sunlight off the ocean back onto the panels, any body interested in trying it out to see if it works
Hmmm... polished stainless sheeting on top of the mast... before I sign up, got any Fibbonaci back-up for that idea?
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Old 20-08-2011, 08:01   #21
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Re: 7th grader makes solar power breakthrough.

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Where is there evidence of this?
Solar3D - Breakthrough 3-Dimensional Solar Cell Technology
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Old 23-08-2011, 00:14   #22
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Stoopid math...

The Capacity Factor: Solar-panel "trees" really are inferior (or: "In which hopelessly inept journalists reduce me to having to debunk a school science project")
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Old 23-08-2011, 01:26   #23
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

I am disappointed by all the "BS" that surrounds the solar panel industry.

I have 5 x 200watt panels that the manufacturer says should give me 12 amps/hr per panel.
I have yet to see more than 5 amps/hr per panel and i am in the Tropics with cloudless skys.
Sure they are quiet and the price has come down, but I still think a generator, even a gasoline generator, is cheaper overall. $2,500 buys a lot of fuel? and they still work if it is cloudy and raining.
Trying to be green is a big con.
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Old 23-08-2011, 01:37   #24
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

If you want to copy trees then you need these guys
Dyesol
Hopefully their dye system will get to the point where you can just paint lots of surfaces above the waterline, and capture reflected energy also.
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Old 23-08-2011, 01:41   #25
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

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Originally Posted by beau View Post
I am disappointed by all the "BS" that surrounds the solar panel industry.

I have 5 x 200watt panels that the manufacturer says should give me 12 amps/hr per panel.
I have yet to see more than 5 amps/hr per panel and i am in the Tropics with cloudless skys.
Sure they are quiet and the price has come down, but I still think a generator, even a gasoline generator, is cheaper overall. $2,500 buys a lot of fuel? and they still work if it is cloudy and raining.
Trying to be green is a big con.
25A as a maximum (@ 12v?) from 1000w. Something is very wrong. I can get 20+A from my 350W
Start a new thread detailing your system and I am sure with the forums advice you could do much better.
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Old 23-08-2011, 02:02   #26
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

I had an electronic engineer check it out, he suggested larger wiring which i did and it made no differance.
I have also tried panels from different manufacturers, no difference.
What else should I look at.
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Old 23-08-2011, 02:36   #27
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Assuming you have an MPPT controller, check that its setup and working correctly. If you don't have one, get one.
http://www.windsun.com/ChargeControls/MPPT.htm
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Old 23-08-2011, 03:40   #28
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

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I had an electronic engineer check it out, he suggested larger wiring which i did and it made no differance.
I have also tried panels from different manufacturers, no difference.
What else should I look at.
A new engineer !
Wiring thatís too small would not account for such a poor performance.
Your output is too low(at least half what it should be) for there not to be a more fundamental fault.
Some details of your system would really help.
Troubleshooting is not difficult the output from each panel can be measured and the regulator bypassed. This will isolate where the fault lies.
The steps that should be taken are.
Measure the current from each panel (Full sun and depleted batteries are better). This is easy with a clamp on multimeter.
Measure the voltage drop to see if there is a bad connection
If the panels are wired in parallel (If your regulator is not MPPT they must be wired this way) connect the array directly to the batteries and measure the current this will tell you if the regulator is defective.
These steps can be done with very little electrical knowledge. I am sure we can talk you through the details. They can be done with a simple multimeter, but a clamp on multimeter makes it much easier (about $75) and will be useful for other electrical problems.
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Old 23-08-2011, 05:58   #29
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

If that kid is not a middle aged retired Nigerian General, then he deserves top marks for the thought processes (and some backing - even if only an intro for later).....easy to sit back and say can't work / won't work, indeed the thing about technology is that to be commercial it does not need to be cutting edge or better than everything that has ever been.
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Old 23-08-2011, 09:56   #30
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Re: Seventh Grader Makes Solar Power Breakthrough

Smart kid, but SOMEONE should have had enough brains to look over his work and see the flaws. In grad school, I was on a judging committee for the citywide finals in Houston. There are some smart kids out there - and some with a great line of BS. It was amazing to get together as a team after we reviewed the projects and review what we found. Sometimes a kid would get by 4 of the 5 of us.
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