Hindustan Zinc, India
Title: Tapping the unlimited energy
Shivam Nigam is working as Process Engineer at Hindustan Zinc, India
Sun is the primary source of energy and has always been the only energy source for life. Life has sustained itself on solar energy since the beginning. So, as of now, we can look up to the sun for fighting the inevitable energy crisis for at least next millennium. One hour of solar energy received by the earth is enough for the entire human race for a year at the current consumption rate. Here, we are going to see how solar energy can be a viable and easy option for humans. It started with the discovery of photoelectric effect and now we are using that to achieve around 40% efficiency in solar cells. This presentation is about recent advancements, trends and future perspectives in Solar and concentrator technologies i.e. tapping the unlimited energy. High-cost solar cell area was the major reason behind its inapplicability, but it was solved by compensating it with a concentrating system. Thus Concentrated Photo-Voltaic (CPV) systems are one of the most researched topics. The performance of PV systems widely depends upon geometrical accuracy, material selection and number of Band-gaps it is compatible with. For that, we will also look into different materials for various systems and requirements. Holographic concentrators are also discussed with Laterally Arranged Multiple Band-gap (LAMB) solar cells. LAMB technology is under development. Other indirect methods are also developed simultaneously in the form of solid-state Thermo-Electric Generators (TEG). In TEGs most recent is Na-TECC. Na-TECC stands for Sodium Thermo-Electro-Chemical converter. Moreover, these systems are also capable of using waste heat from other systems apart from the sun like Biogas combustion and give up to 40-45% of conversion efficiency. One more alternative method which is an emerging field is the use of Rectenna for energy conversion. This utilizes light waves instead of photons for energy conversion. Currently, only around 1% efficiency is reported as it is in an initial stage. This presentation discusses the aforementioned technologies, materials, their efficiency and their future scope.