Supercritical CO2 (s CO2) is a very attractive fluid for this replacement.
Simulation has shown that operating a s CO2 Brayton Power Cycle at about 750 C can give a conversion efficiency of more than 50%, something you could expect only in a combined cycle plant operating at more than 1100 C before.
So the research goals for solar energy have been and continue to be: 1.
Increase the efficiency of conversion to other forms while also reducing the cost. Store energy more efficiently and reduce the costs. Find newer ways to convert solar energy to useful forms.
We concentrate on the use of grid-connected solar-powered generators to replace conventional sources of electricity.
For the more than one billion people in the developing world who lack access to a reliable electric grid, the cost of small-scale PV generation is often outweighed by the very high value of access to electricity for lighting and charging mobile telephone and radio batteries.Silicon, which is still the major material used in solar cells is, of course, available abundantly on earth.Solar cells using earth abundant materials that are being researched include, Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC), polymer solar cells and Perovskite solar cells (PSC).are the indirect forms of solar energy, that is, nature converts solar energy to these forms for our benefit.Even fossil fuels are a stored form of solar energy, which nature stored for us over millions of years for use during emergencies (that is our savings account), although we as humans have been using them exclusively and exhausting them, while throwing away the incoming solar energy (our income).The areas of research in these cells includes improving their efficiency and stability over time.Since costs of PV in the last 10 years have come down so drastically, CSP has not been able to compete commercially in the world.3Q: Robert Armstrong on 10 years of energy research at MIT MIT Energy Initiative Director Robert Armstrong shares perspectives on past successes and ongoing and future energy projects at the Institute. Answer by Yogi Goswami, Director, Clean Energy Research Center, USF, on Quora: Before I answer the main question, let me set the stage as a background to understand the trends.This started a trend in the development of combined cycles that could produce more than one useful outputs in the same cycle, for example, power and desalination; power, heating and desalination; power, cooling and desalination etc.The main innovation in these cycles with multiple outputs is that after converting heat to power, the waste heat from that cycle is used for desalination, heating, cooling etc., instead of rejecting it into the environment.