Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Know about Harmonics and its Effects

Harmonics are the deviation or the distortion of the waveform of its Sinusoidal waveform due to the addition of waveforms of different frequencies.
As per Ohms Law V=I/R,Voltage is proportional to the Current means Current also have a sine waveform except current(which has power factor) does not align perfectly to voltage waveform.
                                         current waveform,voltage waveform,sinewave

The Power supply operates at a standard of 50Hz that means 50Cycles per sec,the voltage changes from positive and negative polarity and back again 50 times per sec.The below is the sinewave of the supply in that the voltage(240V) changes between +240 to -240V thus called alternating voltage.

Figure 2 shows the superimposition of the 3rd order harmonic to the base sine wave due to that the resultant waveform is Distorted waveform(Base+3rd Harmonic).The entire waveform does not follow the Sinusoidal pattern causes unbalance in the load.


                                     sine waveform,supply waveform

Waveform with superimposed harmonics,3rd harmonics,2nd harmonics
The below Fig shows the distorted waveform which is the resultant of the addition of the 3rd harmonic with the fundamental pure sinewave.
Fundamental to Distorted harmonics waveform


The below fig shows the Sine Wave from the Source without harmonics and the fig shows only one cycle having Vmax is the Peak value,Frequency f in Hz and Time period T.

                                    Sinewave of the power supply


The Equation of a Sinewave is written as:

                                     V=VmaxSine(wt)

Note: The harmonics depend on Phase angle,Frequency and also the amplitude.
If the fundamental frequency is given as; E = Vmax(2πƒt),then the complex waveforms will be,

                         

Complex WaveForms due to Harmonics

                       Complex waveform due to the addition of harmonics                   
Harmonic Sequencing

From the below table, Fundamental frequency is either 50Hz or 60Hz. And the 2nd order harmonic frequency will be 100Hz or 120Hz ,the 3rd order harmonic frequency is 150Hz or 180Hz and so on...,

The harmonics are voltages or currents that operate at a frequency that is an integer multiple of the Fundamental Frequency.

Name
Fund.
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
Frequency, Hz
50Hz/60Hz
100/120
150/180
200/240
250/300
300/360
350/420
400/480
450/540
Sequence
+
0
+
0
+
0

Note that in some countries the fundamental frequency will be either 50Hz(UK) or 60Hz(US).

Sequence
Rotation
Harmonic Effect
+
Forward
Excessive Heating Effect
Reverse
Motor Torque Problems
0
None
Adds Voltages and/or Currents in Neutral Wire causing Heating

Common Problems Caused by Harmonics

Overloading Neutral Conductors
The 3-phase system consists of three phase conductors and a neutral conductor. These three phase conductors carry the same amount of current and they used to cancel each other in the neutral conductor makes the load balanced But due to the usage of motors,fans,rectifiers,SMPS causes neutral with increased or twice the current flow of phase current.Hence with balanced load with the currents cancel each other in the neutral conductor, the size of the conductor is minimum, but due to the nonlinear loads, the current draw is higher hence the size of the neutral conductor is bigger than the counterpart.

Overheating Transformers & Losses
The Transformers feeding power to the unbalanced loads like rectifiers,motors, the eddy current loss in the windings is proportional to the square of harmonic current and its frequency thus the losses associated with the transformer with the non-linear load will be twice of the linear load.This condition leads to the overheating of the Transformer which degrades the insulation causes complete failure.

Nuisance Tripping of Circuit Breakers

The RCCB used to check the current between phase to neutral if the neutral current is not same with the phase current then RCCB disconnects power to the Load and also RCCB does not sum the higher frequency components thus sometimes it used to trip.




Thursday, 4 August 2016

RCCB Vs ELCB

                                   RCCB

                                                                           

          


RCCB refers to Residual Current Circuit Breaker which is a rival to the ELCB(Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker). As both the circuit breaker works for the same cause but the difference is RCCB connectivity is different also it gives better protection over ELCB.

ELCB is a voltage operated device which has Line,Neutral, and Earth Connections detects potential in the earth when the voltage is non-zero and indicates that there should be a leakage current in the earth and it protects by tripping.The ELCB can protect from earth fault only  and doesn't provide protection from overload and short circuit so better opt for RCCB than ELCB.

Meanwhile, RCCB which has Line and Neutral connections and the working is when there is a difference in current level from Line to neutral indicates a fault or earth leakage and it trips.As line current always equal to the neutral current which flows back in neutral conductor any difference in current means that somewhere earth fault occurs so the RCCB will get tripped.

The RCCB doesn't require earth connection so that even it can provide shock or fault protection to the device which does not have the earth of its own.

The Tripping of the RCCB is within 30milliSeconds of the earth fault.
The widely used RCCB rating is 30mA and 100mA.
The Human body can withstand up to 30mA.

Like ELCBs,RCCB doesn't protect from the following,

1.Overload(Due to huge current even undetected).
2.Nuisance Tripping(Due to sudden changes in electrical load like switching Airconditioner or Motor etc...)
3.Non-Standard Waveforms(Not guaranteed for the operation by other than nominal waveforms like from halfwave rectifiers).
4.Short Circuits(Due to Line-Neutral Schock).

Friday, 10 June 2016

Best institute for Solar Training In India



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MSME- MINISTRY OF MICRO,SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

                             MSME is a branch of Indian Government,Which is the body for the formulation and administration of rules,regulations and laws for micro,medium and small enterprises.This is providing Employment and training for the peoples to create a skilled workforce in emerging India. The MSME approved institutes are there in every state and the details can be accessed from mnre website.

Location: New Delhi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minmsme/

GERMI – GUJARAT ENERGY RESEARCH & MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

                        Gujarat Energy Research & Management Institute (GERMI) promoted by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (A Govt. of Gujarat Undertaking). GSPC is a fully integrated energy company having a presence in various operations like Exploration & Production, Transportation of Gas, and Power Generation, IT services. It is one of the fastest growing state owned companies and has excellent support from Gujarat Govt. as well as from Central Govt.

It has already established a specialised technology & management institute focusing on the Oil & Gas Sector and is actively pursuing initiatives in the areas of research and alternative energy resources.

Location: Gujarat, India
Phone: +91 079-66701362
E-mail: information@germi.org


NPTI – NATIONAL POWER TRAINING INSTITUTE
            
The Primary objective of NPTI includes the below mentioned functions;

1.Operation and Maintenance of Power Stations.
2.All other aspects of Electrical Energy Systems including Transmission,Sub-Transmission and distribution
3.To act as an apex body for initiating and coordinating training programs in the Power Sector of the country
4.To establish and run Training Institutes for Engineers, Operators, Technicians and other personnel of the Power Sector.

Location: Faridabad, India
Phone: 9818897666
E-mail: rkmishra@npti.in


NCPRE – NATIONAL CENTRE FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC RESEARCH AND EDUCATIO             
The National Centre for Photo-voltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) at IIT Bombay was launched in 2010.For the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to succeed, the availability of trained manpower is a prerequisite. NCPRE aims to provide the framework to meet this need.

1.Design and run appropriate post-graduate programmes in PV at IIT Bombay.
2.Design and offer appropriate undergraduate programmes and courses in Energy at IIT Bombay
3.Create appropriate course modules, including laboratory modules, which can be replicated at other institutions and universities.
4.Train teachers at other institutions and universities.
5.Offer IITB's courses through distance education channels.
6.Design and run special programmes (including certificate-level and diploma programmes) for industry personnel on a part-time basis.
7.Run short-term continuing education programmes for industry personnel
8.Train master trainers for teaching technicians.
9.Provide access to a running fabrication and characterisation facilities for researchers and industry users.

Location: Mumbai, India
Phone: +91 22- 2576 4476 ; 4480 ;4479
E-mail: ncpre@iitb.ac.in


GUJARAT INSTITUTE OF SOLAR ENERGY (GISE)

The Gujarat Energy Development Agency's an ISO 9001:2008 certified educational institute that provides technical training Programs on Solar energy.The major objective of the institute is to produce solar energy skilled manpower. 

GISE has set the pace of Renewable Energy Development in the country with the foundation laid for Asia’s first Solar Park that envisaged an investment of Rs. 7500 crore. The Solar Park will be established on 2,000 ha of arid land in Village: Charanka (Taluka: Santalpur Taluka) District Patan bordering Pakistan. Plots have been allocated to 16 Private investors to generate to 176 MW solar power.

Courses Offered
Course NameDurationEligibility
Diploma in Solar System & Inverter Installation & Servicing1 Year (Short Term)12th Passed (Any Stream) / ITI
Diploma in Solar System & Environmental Engineering6 Semester12th Passed (Any Stream) / ITI
B.Tech in Solar & Environmental Engineering8 Semester10+2(Science + Maths)
B.Tech in Solar & Environmental Engineering
(Lateral Entry to 3rd Semester)
6 SemesterPolytechnic Diploma of 3 year after 10th Class
M.tech in Solar & Environmental Engineering4 SemesterPassed in B.E./B.Tech
Certificate in Solar Photo-voltaic Application , Design & Technology3 MonthsPassed in Diploma, Bachelor or Master in Any Stream
Solar Technical Workshop3 DaysPassed in 12th , Diploma, I.T.I, Bachelor or Master in Any Stream

Location: Gujarat, India
Phone: 079 – 2768 01 22
E-mail: info@gise.in


NISE – NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOLAR ENERGY

The National Institute of Solar Energy (formerly Solar Energy Centre) was established by MNRE in 1982. NISE is an autonomous institute under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India established to facilitate the Research & Development, Testing, Certification, Skill development activities in the field of Solar energy technologies.

NISE also supports the ministry in the implementation of prestigious National Solar mission. The institute is committed to the development and demonstration of solar energy related technologies and its applications to the common man in the country.

Location: Gurgaon, India (Campus)
Telefax: 0091-124-2579207
E-mail: sec.nic@in


RENEWABLE ENERGY CENTRE MITHRADHAM

Mithradham also offers student internship training in renewable energy. The aim of the training programme is to offer hands on training on the core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety and commissioning. We train decision makers, technicians, and end-users in order to create sustainable renewable energy projects

The present programme offers a one week training with German experts who have international exposure and expertise in on-grid and off-grid solar P-V. It is tailored to all who have a basic knowledge in electricity and intend to make use of it. Practical installation and study visits to different solar installations are also offered as a part of the programme. Consultancy services of the expert is available by prior appointment during the training programme.

A certificate will be issued at the end of the training programme. The following are the areas of theoretical and practical training:
  1. Basics of solar energy
  2. Stand alone PV systems: Planning, Designing and Installation
  3. Grid connected systems
  4. Solar cable technology
  5. Maintenance and Surveillance of PV installations
Location: Kerala, India
Phone: +91(0)484 2839185
E-mail: director@mithradham.org


GSES – GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS

GSES is leading the industry in providing accredited solar training for the safe design and installation of grid connected solar systems. It offers solar training and renewable energy courses to cater to a broad range of students. Their courses include:
  1. Grid Connected PV Systems Design and installation (Online and face-to-face)
  2. Standalone Solar PV Systems Design and Installation (Face-to-face)
  3. Rooftop PV Systems Design and Installation (Face-to-face)
  4. Solar PV Best Practices (Face-to-face)
  5. Solar Power System Fundamentals (Online)
  6. Solar PV course for Startups and Entrepreneurs (Online and face-to-face)
Location: New Delhi, India
Phone: +91 1140587622
E-mail: info@gses.in

PROMOTERS AND RESEARCHERS IN NON-CONVENTIONAL ENERGY – PRINCE

            PRINCE (Promoters and Researchers In Non-Conventional Energy) provide "Entrepreneurship Training in Renewable Energy". This includes hands on/Field training as well as classroom sessions. Many entrepreneurs in solar concentrating cookers, Scheffler concentrators are their trainees.


Location: Maharashtra, India
Phone: 91 2562 271795
E-mail: chandak@princeindia.org

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Lithium ion batteries



Lithium ion battery,aviation battery,LI-Ion battery,battery,telecom battery


Lithium ion batteries,These batteries are now becoming popular especially in telecom sectors,Space projects etc...because of their charging and discharging feature,Compact,energy density and finally the monitoring feature involved in Li-Ion batteries.

Working of a Battery?

The batteries is a storage device,that converts chemical energy.The batteries are having 3 major parts or components.Anode(negatively charged),Cathode(Positively charged) and Electrolytes.

For example,Take one container and fill it with diluted sulfuric acid as the electrolyte. Now immerse zinc and one copper rod in the solution and connect them externally by an electric load. Now your simple voltaic cell is completed. Current will start flowing through the external load.

Zinc in diluted sulfuric acid gives up electrons as below:

                                                  
These Zn + + ions pass into the electrolyte, and their concentration is very high near the zinc electrode. As a result of the above oxidation reaction, the zinc electrode is left negatively charged and hence acts as cathode. The diluted sulfuric acid and water disassociate into hydronium ions as given below:

                                       
Due to the high concentration of Zn + + ions near the cathode, the H3O+ ions are repelled towards the copper electrode and get discharged by removing electrons from the copper atoms. The following reaction takes place at the anode:

                                       
As a result of the reduction reaction taking place at copper electrode, copper is left positively charged and hence it acts as the anode.


Lithium ion battery,aviation battery,LI-Ion battery,battery,telecom battery,working of battery


Lithium ion Battery?

These batteries having better features compared to other lead acid or other batteries because there will be a monitoring section provided which can give you all real time data's at that time, means Voltage of individual cells,battery pack,total voltage,cell temperature,Over current or Under current etc...., each and every parameters of the battery including SOH and SOC also tracked using the in-build BMS(Battery Monitoring System).


The Lithium ion batteries have high energy density, means the amount of energy stored per unit volume is higher than the traditional Lead acid batteries so that the size of the battery was compact too.

The Li-Ion is a lightweight metal so that it is easy to form ions at the time of chemical reaction,The Li-ion battery can store as much as twice of the power Lead Acid battery can hold and also these batteries are also environmentally friendly but susceptible to 100% discharge so 80% discharge is recommended.

Let us take an example of 48V/75AH Li-Ion battery,so it has 15 no of 3.2V cells connected in series,thus makes you 48V battery.thus for the same size it give twice the power of other battery types.

These batteries have some modern electronics involved to better understand each and every parameters,so mainly BMS (Battery monitoring system),Contractors,Temperature sensors,Shunt,RS485,Data Logger,CAN.

The BMS may contain MOSFET to replace contractors which are responsible for charging and discharging,The BMS can able to control the battery from fail due to any Over or Under current/Voltage/Temperature,also it has alarms in case of any problems occurred so that these BMS are very helpful to protect batteries by monitoring all possible parameters.


RS485 which is used to monitor the parameters by connecting PC/Laptop.CAN communication is used to communicate between each battery so that the data logger can store the data of all the batteries.Data logger is used to log all the parameters of the battery and generally the Master module hold data logger and CAN communication allow to get information from each battery.


Lithium ion battery,aviation battery,LI-Ion battery,battery,telecom battery,working of battery
The commercially used negative electrode is graphite and  positive electrode will be one of these three materials- lithium cobalt oxide, a polyanion-such as lithium iron phosphate or a spinel -such as lithium manganese oxide.The electrolyte will be a mixture of some organic carbonates such as ethyliene carbonate or diethyl carbonate containing complexes of Li ions,

Charging:

The external voltage was given through any external charger with the same polarity is applied between the electrodes, thus the charging process will start. The lithium atoms leave the metal oxide structure and ionize into Li+ ions under the release of an electron of each one. In this process Li+ ions diffuse to the negative electrode(anode). At the surface of the graphite particles the Li+ ions and electrons recombine with each other forming neutral lithium atoms and are reintercalated into the molecular structure of the graphite particles,otherwise Lithium is deposited in the anode.When no more ions will flow, the battery is fully charged and ready to use.

Ref:TUM EES YouTube Channel

Discharging

During discharge, lithium atoms oxidize by forming Li+ ions and electrons, whereas Li+ ions move to the positive electrode diffusing through the electrolyte and the separator. The electrons flow from the negative electrode to the positive on the external circuitry, where the resulting current flow can be used for an application. At the positive electrode the electrons recombine with the Li+ ions and are stored in the molecular structure of the active material, otherwise Lithium is deposited in the cathode.When all the ions have moved back, the battery is fully discharged and needs charge again.

                                                         






Saturday, 19 September 2015

UPS/INVERTER-Common Problems and Solutions

Inverter or UPS are the power backup devices which protect not only from the electricity blackouts and also from lot of other unseen activities happening in it such as Voltage spikes,sags,Noise,frequency variations and etc...,So friends if you thought your UPS is only a backup solution for you, better understand the risks that your UPS undergoes.


UPS,INVERTER Problems and Solutions such spike,sag,harmonics,noise


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Solar Bajaj or Solar Rickshaw or Solar Tuk Tuk



Model 1:

This is a 3 wheeled Solar Bajaj operates with the sun as the power source. This auto rickshaw was converted to an electric auto rickshaw by removing its petrol engine replaced with 2 Lynch motors which are connected in series on the back wheels.This auto rickshaw is having 4 x 85 Watt BP solar panels which is charging 4 x 16 Volt Li-Ion batteries.


solar bajaj,solar autorickshaw,solar rickshaw,sun bajaj,solar auto



Model 2:

This is a 4 wheeled solar vehicle which already had 8 x 80 Watt panels that were reduced to 6 panels for safety because 480 Watts was sufficient to power the 2 x 12 Volt batteries operating at 24 Volts. It reaches a speed of 40 kph and can able to carry 4 passengers for 100 kilometres in a day.


Solar cycle,solar bajaj,solar vehicle




Model 3:

This solar vehicle is sponsored by Euromoney Investor PLC, and the Moss Family was made by Cycles Maximus of Bristol for The BBC Tomorrow’s World Road Show and was cycled from the NEC Birmingham to Earls Court.

Solar cycle,solar bajaj,solar vehicle

Model 4:

This Solar Vehicle is based on the London cycle taxi with 2 x 85 Watt solar panels on the roof and power from a Lynch motor. It gives a good illustration of power from the panels and a human as it is generally accepted "that a person can" when cycling produce 85 Watts; so the roof panels are equivalent to 2 cyclists power, which does not stop working at traffic lights or during lunch, the power being stored in 2 x 12 Volt batteries.

Solar cycle,Solar bycycle,solar bajaj,solar vehicle

Model 5:

This Vehicle is sponsored by Harvest Energy was built in Udaipur,India. The hybrid drive is from pedals and a Lynch motor attached to the front wheel with the power being provided by 3 x 75 Watt solar panels producing 36 Volts from 3 x 12 Volt Lead Acid batteries. It has excellent performance up hills, can carry 3 passengers and is substantially built.





Model 5:

This is known as the ‘Boys Toy ‘ as it was built by James and Simon Moss from an Indian cycle rickshaw parts bought in Delhi and assembled in Udaipur with the addition of a Heinzmann hub motor on the front wheel, 2 x 75 watt solar panels and 2 x 12V small lead acid batteries. It is very robust having been in 2 crashes and overturned. Like the other solar vehicles it was presented to Arvind Singh Mewar of the MMCF at a grand ceremony in the Old City Palace and Simon Moss, then aged 13, made the often quoted statement “When I am old the Oil Age will have passed”




Model 6:

Solar no 5 is a star, sponsored by Petrex and built in the UK by the remarkable and brilliant engineer Cedric Lynch. It is so efficient it covered 150 kilometres, carrying 4 passengers, in 1 day just from the solar power. It has 6 x 85 Watt panels and is based on a light weight frame with 4 mountain bike wheels with low friction hubs. Power is from a 200 mm Lemco Lynch permanent magnet motor and incorporates a Brusa controller which has regenerative braking .





Model 7:

This is a converted Bajaj Kawasaki KB 100cc motorcycle. The engine is replaced with an Etec Lynch motor and Brusa controller and instead of petrol the power is stored in 2 x 85 Amp/hr Li Ion batteries. It is used daily by the garage staff for errands around town and is recharged from a portable solar bike shed that keeps the bike cool whilst charging.




Model 8:


This was sponsored by the Donald Family and was built in the UK by 2EV in Cornwall. It is based on the Piaggio small truck and with its large engine had impressive acceleration and a top speed of 85 kph. It is now used as the “Mother ship” charging from the 6 x 85 Watt solar panels the electric scooters and motorbikes Solar Nos 10 – 15.





Model 9:

This was designed by Neil McClaren a young cycle enthusiast who was sponsored by Collinda to work on new designs for solar rickshaws in Udaipur. The vehicle is extremely easy to drive and steer but even with 7 gears is hard to pedal due to the absence of a free wheel shortly to be fitted.



Model 10:

This Vehicle is made in the Palace garage at Udaipur incorporates many of the best features of the earlier models. Sole drive is a Lynch motor on the front wheel. It has 3 x 75 Watt solar panels and 3 x 65 Amp/hr lead acid batteries. It is a very convenient town vehicle and a similar vehicle is being built for the testing programme/taxi service at the University.




Monday, 23 March 2015

Types of Motor Starting Methods

Types of Motor starting Methods,motor speed control,frequency control,voltage control for motor,auto transformer speed control,winding control for motor


Motor starting methods 

MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Across - the - LineSimple, Cost-EffectiveHigh Current Inrush
High Starting Torque
Abrupt Start
Reduced-voltage autotransformerHigh output torque vs. starting current.
Some Flexibility in starting characteristics due adjustable taps on auto-transformers
Limited duty cycle
Large equipment size due to autotransformers
Reduced-Voltage Resistor or ReactorHigh output torque vs. starting currentLimited duty cycle
Limited flexibility in starting characteristics
Higher inrush current than with reduced-voltage autotransformer
Large equipment size due to resistors/reactors
Wye-DeltaRelatively low inrush current
Relatively simple starter construction
Good for long acceleration times
Relatively low output torque vs. starting current
Limited flexibility in starting characteristics
Requires special motor construction
Part-WindingRelatively Simple starter constructionRelatively low output torque vs. starting current
Not suitable for frequent starts
Requires special motor construction
Solid-state soft starterSmooth Acceleration
Low inrush current
High flexibility in starting characteristics
Typically offers deceleration control also
Typically integrates with industrial automation
infrastructure
Relatively Expensive
Sensitive to power quality
Heat dissipation and ambient temperature are a concern
Rotor ResistanceSmooth acceleration available
Good flexibility in starting characteristics
Can be used for speed control also
Complicated controller design
Requires expensive wound-rotor motor construction
Adjustable
Speed Drive
Smooth Acceleration
Low inrush current
High flexibility in starting characteristics
Offers deceleration and speed control also
Typically integrates with industrial automation
infrastructure
Cost-prohibitive unless speed control is required also
Sensitive to power quality
Heat dissipation and ambient temperature are a concern
Continuous harmonic currents can create power quality issues

Ref:  http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/comparison-of-motor-speed-control-methods?utm_source=Technical+Articles&utm_campaign=e9ea0b385f-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ae069f0d91-e9ea0b385f-320603685

Monday, 16 March 2015

Transparent solar cell-Turns Window & Screen a Power Source

Transparent solar cell-Turns Window & Screen a Power Source,window power,window solar,screen solar cell


Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other “transparent” solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, this one really is transparent, as you can see in the photos throughout this story. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research, the team are confident that the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.”

Scientifically, a transparent solar panel is something of an oxymoron. Solar cells, specifically the photovoltaic kind, make energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity). If a material is transparent, however, by definition it means that all of the light passes through the medium to strike the back of your eye. This is why previous transparent solar cells have actually only been partially transparent — and, to add insult to injury, they usually they cast a colorful shadow too.

Transparent solar cell-Turns Window & Screen a Power Source,window power,window solar,screen solar cell
Transparent solar cell-Turns Window & Screen a Power Source,wavelength of transparent solar cell




The organic salts absorb UV and infrared, and emit infrared — processes that occur outside of the visible spectrum, so that it appears transparent.

To get around this limitation, the Michigan State researchers use a slightly different technique for gathering sunlight. Instead of trying to create a transparent photovoltaic cell (which is nigh impossible), they use a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC). The TLSC consists of organic salts that absorb specific non-visible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light, which they then luminesce (glow) as another wavelength of infrared light (also non-visible). This emitted infrared light is guided to the edge of plastic, where thin strips of conventional photovoltaic solar cell convert it into electricity. [Research paper: DOI: 10.1002/adom.201400103- "Near-Infrared Harvesting Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrators"]

If you look closely, you can see a couple of black strips along the edges of plastic block. Otherwise, though, the active organic material — and thus the bulk of the solar panel — is highly transparent. 

Michigan’s TLSC currently has an efficiency of around 1%, but they think 5% should be possible. Non-transparent luminescent concentrators (which bathe the room in colorful light) max out at around 7%. On their own these aren’t huge figures, but on a larger scale — every window in a house or office block — the numbers quickly add up. Likewise, while we’re probably not talking about a technology that can keep your smartphone or tablet running indefinitely, replacing your device’s display with a TLSC could net you a few more minutes or hours of usage on a single battery charge.

The researchers are confident that the technology can be scaled all the way from large industrial and commercial applications, down to consumer devices, while remaining “affordable.” So far, one of the larger barriers to large-scale adoption of solar power is the intrusive and ugly nature of solar panels — obviously, if we can produce large amounts of solar power from sheets of glass and plastic that look like normal sheets of glass and plastic, then that would be big.