Design Con 2015
Breaking News
News & Analysis

Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired

9/8/2010 05:23 PM EDT
14 comments
NO RATINGS
More Related Links
View Comments: Threaded | Newest First | Oldest First
pixies
User Rank
Rookie
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
pixies   9/8/2010 6:01:26 PM
NO RATINGS
A very interesting work. I wonder what is the actual improvement in efficiency after taking into account the energy used in the filtering process and the cost of the materials.

Warren3
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
Warren3   9/9/2010 6:19:15 PM
NO RATINGS
I think you are targeting the heart of the matter in looking for the BOM cost and "true" efficiency (and survivability) of the solution; that indeed will be interesting... but/and as noted by Sanjib below, if 40% efficiency is affordably available it sounds like a real breakthrough.

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
R_Colin_Johnson   9/9/2010 6:32:08 PM
NO RATINGS
These researchers claim that by making their solution more concentrated, they can boost efficiency much much further, but this is still lab work. We will have to wait and see what kind of efficiency a commercial version can yield.

nicolas.mokhoff
User Rank
Rookie
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
nicolas.mokhoff   9/8/2010 9:22:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Taking examples from Nature to come up with technological solutions is as old as Leonardo da Vinci's time and I'm sure earlier examples can be found. Why reinvent the wheel of naural phenomena; just emulate it. Easier said than done. Keen observation can help. Take the MIT work emulating a bird perching and apply the mechanism to a winged aircraft: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cmp/eetimes_milaero_20100830/index.php#/40/OnePage

Warren3
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
Warren3   9/9/2010 6:23:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Sure enough Nic... but can you think of a lot of examples of bio-functional mimicry along these lines? it does seem pretty cool (and modern) to me anyway.

daleste
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
daleste   9/9/2010 1:57:57 AM
NO RATINGS
I wonder what else has yet to be learned from nature. What else could we model after natural systems to increase efficiency or functionality of our electronic and mechanical world.

Sanjib.A
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
Sanjib.A   9/9/2010 3:08:10 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a pioneer research work! As most of the solar cell manufacturers are struggling to achieve 20-25% efficiency with the existing solar cell technologies, a new idea like this one is an essential need to achieve major breakthrough with the efficiency. Again the idea of self-healing technique mimicking the self-repairing mechanism used by plants is also great. Most of the technological breakthroughs (I believe all) are inspired by nature and there is plenty more to learn yet.

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
R_Colin_Johnson   9/9/2010 12:33:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Nature has a lot to teach us, but usually we don't listen too closely because our designs are optimized. When evolution makes changes, it usually overlays the new over the old, rather than replace it with an optimized version. The message is that you can't just copy nature, but really need to understand what is going on so that you can mimic the good without copying the unnecessary. That said, I think these researchers are demonstrating that the time it ripe for adding a little complexity to our designs in order to mimic traits like self-healing.

Sanjib.A
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
Sanjib.A   9/9/2010 6:40:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with what you and Nic_Mokhoff shared about "listening closely" / "keen observation" for applying the learning from the nature. Wish to see this research taking concrete shape in the near future. I was also going though an article on the same topic published in the link below : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39058522/ns/technology_and_science-green_innovation/ The article says (towards the end) that the initial efficiency of this new solar cell is less compared to the current commercial solar panels? How do you interpret that information?

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
R_Colin_Johnson   9/9/2010 6:57:25 PM
NO RATINGS
The 40 percent figure was calculated from the chemistry of the reactions, whereas the solution tested was relatively dilute. By improving the chemistry and making the solution more concentrated, they hope to outperform solid-state solar cells.

Theophilus_
User Rank
Rookie
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
Theophilus_   9/10/2010 2:43:06 AM
NO RATINGS
It's amazing what highly intricate levels of design we see in nature. Most designers would agree that none of their designs are the product of randomness, but of careful thought, skill and effort.

prabhakar_deosthali
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
prabhakar_deosthali   9/10/2010 10:51:45 AM
NO RATINGS
IF we go by this trend of research of emulating the nature, no wonder one fine day we may find the Solar panel farms in the real agricultural sense ,where, the farmers will grow plants not for harvesting the crops but for generating energy! By our advanced technological research we are truly moving close to the nature! Finally the God Nature has the most advanced technology!

chanj0
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
chanj0   9/10/2010 6:50:29 PM
NO RATINGS
On 6th, IMEC reports an efficiency improvement - http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4207381/IMEC-reports-solar-cells. 2 days later, the news of self-healing solar comes. These news are good to the society. I am very interested in understanding the efficiency of the self healing solar cell. In addition, anyone knows the life cycle of the self healing solar cell compared to that of the in-organic solar cell.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
re: Self-repairing solar cell bio-inspired
krisi   9/11/2010 3:04:20 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a fantastic example of research breakthrough that we need. We have been relying too long on the premise of building the "perfect" electronics. Future lies in building technology that is not perfect, can correct itself, can re-built itself etc. Cudos to MIT researchers...Kris

Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe will interview EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt.
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll