• 8 hours PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 10 hours Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 12 hours Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 13 hours Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 14 hours Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 15 hours Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 16 hours Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 18 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 19 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 20 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 1 day Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 1 day British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 1 day Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 2 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 2 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 2 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 2 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 2 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 2 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 3 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 3 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 4 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 4 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 4 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 4 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 4 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 4 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 4 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 4 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 5 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 5 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 5 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 5 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Alt Text

Solar Costs Are Dropping Much Faster Than Expected

The U.S. Department of Energy…

Alt Text

Unusual Ruling Could Impact Cheap Solar Panel Imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission…

More Efficient Solar Energy

More Efficient Solar Energy

Solar power could be harvested more efficiently and transported over longer distances using tiny molecular circuits based on quantum mechanics, according to research inspired by new insights into natural photosynthesis. Incorporating the latest research into how plants, algae and some bacteria use quantum mechanics to optimize energy production via photosynthesis, UCL scientists have set out how to design molecular circuitry that is 10 times smaller than the thinnest electrical wire in computer processors. Published in Nature Chemistry, the report discusses how tiny molecular energy grids could capture, direct, regulate and amplify raw solar energy.

Solar fuel production is all about energy from light being absorbed by an assembly of molecules; this electronic excitation is subsequently transferred to a suitable acceptor. For example, in photosynthesis, antenna complexes capture sunlight and direct the energy to reaction centers that then carry out the associated chemistry.   

In photosynthesis chlorophyll captures sunlight and directs the energy to special proteins that help make oxygen and sugars. This is no different in principle than a solar cell.

In natural systems energy from sunlight is captured by colored molecules called dyes or pigments, but it is only stored for a billionth of a second. This leaves little time to route the energy from pigments to the molecular machinery that produces fuel or electricity.

The key to transferring and storing energy very quickly is to harness the collective quantum properties of antennae, which are made up of just a few tens of pigments.

Recent studies have identified quantum coherence and entanglement between the excited states of different pigments in the light-harvesting stage of photosynthesis.  Although this stage of photosynthesis is highly efficient, it remains unclear exactly how or if these quantum effects are relevant.

Dr Alexandra Olaya-Castro, co-author of the paper from UCL’s department of Physics and Astronomy said: "On a bright sunny day, more than 100 million billion red and blue colored photons strike a leaf each second."

“Under these conditions plants need to be able to both use the energy that is required for growth but also to get rid of excess energy that can be harmful. Transferring energy quickly and in a regulated manner are the two key features of natural light harvesting systems.

"By assuring that all relevant energy scales involved in the process of energy transfer are more or less similar, natural antennae manage to combine quantum and classical phenomena to guarantee efficient and regulated capture, distribution and storage of the sun’s energy."

Summary of lessons from nature about concentrating and distributing solar power with nanoscopic antennae:

The basic components of the antenna are efficient light absorbing molecules.

Take advantage of the collective properties of light-absorbing molecules by grouping them close together. This will make them exploit quantum mechanical principles so that the antenna can: i) absorb different colors ii) create energy gradients to favour unidirectional transfer and iii) possibly exploit quantum coherence for energy distribution.

Make sure that the relevant energy scales involved in the energy transfer process are more or less resonant. This will guarantee that both classical and quantum transfer mechanisms are combined to create regulated and efficient distribution of energy.

By. Andy Soos




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News