IBM “sunflowers” to supply off-grid energy, water, and cooling
Looking rather like a 10-meter (33 ft) tall sunflower, IBM’s High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system concentrates the sun’s radiation over 2,000 times on a single point and then transforms 80 percent of that into usable energy. Using a number of liquid-cooled microchannel receivers, each equipped with an array of multi-junction photovoltaic chips, each HCPVT can produce enough power, water, and cooling to supply several homes. Swiss-based supplier of solar power technology, Airlight Energy, has partnered with IBM Research to utilize IBM’s direct wam-water cooling design (adapted from use in IBM’s SuperMUC supercomputer), water adsorption technologies, and leverage IBM’s past work with multi-chip solar receivers developed in a collaboration between IBM and the Egypt Nanotechnology Research Center, to develop and produce the system. Using a 40-sq-m (430.5-sq-ft) parabolic dish coated with 36 plastic foil elliptic mirrors just 0.2 mm thick, the HCPVT system prototype concentrates the sun’s radiation onto a number of liquid-cooled receivers, each of which contains an array of 1×1-cm2 (0.39 × 0.39 in2) chips that each generate “up to 57 watts of electrical power when operating during a typical sunny day.” Combined, the whole system produces a total of 12 kW of electrical power and 20 kW of heat over that same period. Micro-structured conduits pump treated water around these receivers to carry away excess heat at a rate that is claimed to be 10 times more effective than passive air cooling. Although the water is still subsequently heated to around 85-90° C (183-194° F), the removal of heat from the chips keeps them at a relatively cool safe operating temperature of around 105° C (221° F). Without this cooling, the concentrated energy of the sun would see the chips reach temperatures of over 1,500° C (2,732° F). “The direct cooling technology with very small pumping power used to cool the photovoltaic chips with water is inspired by the hierarchical branched blood supply system of the human body,” said Dr. Bruno Michel, manager, advanced thermal packaging at IBM Research. (via IBM “sunflowers” to supply off-grid energy, water, and cooling)
Great Minds of Astronomy: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Welcome to SciShow Space! In this episode Caitlin Hofmeister will talk about Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, one of the most influential women in astronomy!
Hosted by Caitlin Hofmeister
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