Cheap Photovoltaics Wins M.I.T. Clean Energy Prize
Time for M.I.T.’s Clean Energy Prize. The annual competition gives teams of university students a chance to compete for $200,000 to kick-start their new clean energy business.
One finalist designed a compression technology for natural gas wells that will allow so-called marginal wells to produce much longer than they can today. They say this will reduce costs and increase production.
Another came up with a new technique to reengineer concrete at the molecular scale––a process they say makes it stronger and uses significantly less energy. The students say their technology could save the equivalent output of 100 nuclear power plants per year.
And the winner? A team from Stanford called C3Nano. They’ve developed a novel material––a transparent electrode, like the screens on computer monitors and phones. But while our screens are brittle, theirs is flexible––at what they say is one tenth the price. The young inventors note that the somewhat transparent electrode used today in solar cells absorbs as much as 20 percent of available light––but theirs is significantly more transparent and will gobble up more light. Greater efficiency for less money? That’s an idea worth 200K.
[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
For more info, see www.mitcep.org