Solar Energy Could Soon Compete With Oil As An Energy Source
Stanford University Engineers called "photon enhanced thermionic emission", or PETE, could reduce the cost of solar energy production enough for it to compete with oil as an energy source, making solar power production more than twice as efficient as existing methods. Unlike photovoltaic technology currently used in solar panels, which becomes less efficient as the temperature rises, the new process excels at higher temperatures. The new process combines the light and heat of solar radiation to generate electricity. The materials needed to build a device are cheap and easily available. The team would like to design the devices so they could be easily bolted on to existing systems, thereby making conversion relatively inexpensive.