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The light and IR rays are electromagnetic waves by its nature. Why cannot we make electric current from sun by the elctromagnetic induction. Because it is very high, ultra high frequency, 400-700 nm of wavelenght, which is 140-250 THz, or 140 000-250 000 GHz frequency. Quite high. But suppose that we
can make diodes that can work, in such high frequency. Than if you make thiny coils in nanotechnollogy, which is by dimensions some close to the wavelenght of IR and visible light, you would have the elctromagnetic induction, in the coils, induced by the sunlight, and with wien bridge diode rectifier, incorporated in such integrated circuit, rectified current would be the same as any other direct current. Make the whole solar panel with multitude integrated nano coils and rectifiers, connected in series for higher voltage, and paralel for higher currents, this would be an inductive solar PV panel. I wonder how energy efficient woul it be, maybe 30-40-50 %. That can be in a transparent foil, in a first layer, and the second layer can be a classic PV foil, that is even more efficiency.
This is an old Idea.
I first heard about it in the 1980s [Vernon, Aug 08 2012]
More on the same old Idea
The most relevant words are "rectenna array". [Vernon, Aug 08 2012]
Mentioned in another Idea Anno
Back in the year 2000 [Vernon, Aug 08 2012]
Good wikipedia article on exactly this
First patent, '73, first success, '96. The antenna's easy, the rectifier, hard. [CraigD, Aug 10 2012]
||Yes you need a varying field, but as the light is an ray, it has its variation, oscillation, it is of a wave nature, it already varies. You just have to catch the rays. It is just like an receiving antenna.
Lets look like this: If you have the usw radio emmiting antena, 1KW of power for instance, and if you would be able to see the radio waves, it would look like a distant light, and with the receiving antenna, you can catch this wave and receive the signal. That is a small ammount of energy.
Here you have the enmmiting antenna, the Sun, but with the gigapentawats of emitting power, and still we cannot catch the signal
||A crystal set derives its power entirely from the
incoming radio waves, so this sort of makes sense.
||I guess the big question is whether it's possible to
make something that rectifies at optical
||Yes that should be a wide range antenna, but I think that it is not a problem, we do not need a tunning, we just receive the energy, whatever it commes, its OK, but the real problem is what Max said, the rectifier. I know that there is some radio links in 30 GHz, and maybe 100 GHz, and who knows about military, and space things, maybe 1000GHz, but for a 100 000 GHz, its a little trouble. But if we are close to 1000GHz, it is only 100 times faster.
||The point about light being non-coherent is probably
valid. You'd need circuits (each its own rectifier
bridge) small enough that only one photon hits each
one at any given moment.