The Ergosphere
Monday, January 10, 2005
 

News briefs

I haven't got any essays ready, but two updates couldn't wait:

In the three-way race between conventional semiconductor PV, dye-activated titanium dioxide and organic polymers, the organics may have just found a performance-enhancing drug:  semiconductor nanoparticles (Hat tip:  Slashdot).  Peter Peumans is quoted as saying that conversion efficiency may reach 30%, compared to today's 6%.  (If even 15% is achieved, the ~500 quads of sunlight falling on the impermeable area of the USA could potentially yield ~75 quads of electricity.  I believe that most of the work currently done in the USA with oil, coal and natural gas could be replaced by 75 quads of electricity with plenty left over.)


In an e-mail communication from R.Martin Roscheisen of Nanosolar, I was informed that the numbers I posted in Out of left field were "not quite correct".  I responded with a request for more accurate data to post.  I've not yet heard back from anyone, but I will attempt to update everything affected when I get a response. 

Comments:
"...sunlight falling on the impermeable area of the USA..."

"The impervious area of the United States (roughly the area of Ohio) ..." (from an earlier post)

I'm not familiar with this terminology. I understand (I think) 'insolation,' but I'm unclear about 'impermeable' and 'impervious' in this context. Is there a glossary of basic terms I could look at?
 
You can look here for one of the many popular versions of the source material.
 
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