/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Friday, July 26, 2019

Powering Drones for Days with Ultralight Photovoltaics

Something like this might fill the skies.  The efficiency increase seems small, but perhaps is key to the task at hand.

Drones will fly for days with new photovoltaic engine  by Linda Vu

UC Berkeley researchers just broke another record in photovoltaic efficiency, an achievement that could lead to an ultralight engine that can power drones for days.

For the past 15 years, the efficiency of converting heat into electricity with thermovoltaics has been stalled at 23 percent. But a groundbreaking physical insight has allowed researchers to raise this efficiency to 29 percent. Using a novel design, the researchers are now aiming to reach 50 percent efficiency in the near future by applying well-established scientific concepts.

This breakthrough has big implications for technologies that currently rely on heavy batteries for power. Thermophotovoltaics are an ultralight alternative power source that could allow drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to operate continuously for days. It could also be used to power deep space probes for centuries and eventually an entire house with a generator the size of an envelope.

Their work was described in a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   .... "

No comments: