By J I Thacker reporting from the entrance line of the local weather emergency
A brand new prototype photo voltaic panel from the Technical Institute of Copenhagen (TIC) guarantees to be a sport changer for renewable power prospects.
“Hitherto, daily and seasonal intermittency has been a killer for solar panels,” says Rickard Pierrot of TIC, one of many group behind the invention. “Only an idiot would make solar a major part of energy infrastructure in a developed country. But NightShine answers the sceptics, and then some.”
Pierrot first had the concept for his invention when he learn a narrative about diesel mills masquerading as photo voltaic panels in Spain to say the over-generous subsidies. The scheme was solely rumbled when the “solar panels” continued to feed energy into the grid at night time time.
“What if solar panels could work at night?” Pierrot questioned. “At first, I thought of charging enormous batteries and then using them to generate light to shine back on themselves. But that was a dumb idea.” He laughs and sips his soya latte. “You might as well just send the battery power to the grid. Why illuminate the panels?”
His subsequent concept was a real lightbulb second. “Traditional solar panels work by intercepting photons. Naturally the Earth is opaque to photons, so at night the panels are useless. But the Sun emits another kind of particle that shines right through the Earth, even at night: solar neutrinos.”
The solely downside for the group was discovering a cloth that will intercept a particle that’s extraordinarily reluctant to work together with any strange matter. “Neutrinos only interact via the weak force,” Pierrot explains, demonstrating a salt-shaker dodging round a pepper mill. “That means you have to bring the neutrino extremely close to another particle before they notice each other. But what not a lot of people know is that although neutrinos pass through the Earth, they do change on their way through – a bit like the way white light is changed into a rainbow as it passes through a triangular prism.”
Keying in on this relationship, Pierrot was in a position to theorise a molecular construction that will be partly opaque to neutrinos, primarily based on the exact orientation and atomic spacing of the lattice. A supplies scientist at Bologna University produced a prototype to that specification that, in line with Pierrot, “caught 10% of solar neutrinos in at least one of the three flavours.” He laughs. “Personally I like vanilla!”
The NightShine photo voltaic panel continues to be in its testing part in the intervening time. The magical materials should still be a commerce secret, however we all know it’s costly, and the panel’s lifetime is unsure. But Pierrot is assured he’s onto a winner. “If we can catch 10% now, in ten years we’ll be able to catch 30%. This technology has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against climate heating. By the way, are you single? You have the most incredible blue eyes!”
Pierrot’s work was funded by, amongst others, the European Union Onion Growers’ Union (EUOGU).