The UT research project ‘Solar energy from any surface’, led by Dr Rebecca Saive (Faculty of Science and Technology), has been granted funding under the Dutch Research Council’s KIC call ‘Innovations for wind and solar energy’.
The project’s goal is to develop solar energy collectors that use nearby buildings, nature and agriculture to gather solar energy through a new type of nanophotonic material. This material will be used to capture sunlight and send it to solar panels in the vicinity in the form of infrared light. This “cold” light is harmless, invisible and ideal for increasing the net energy production of solar cells. The use of this new method will result in a higher energy yield per square metre, significantly reducing costs, environmental impact and land-scale change. Dr Saive: “Our interdisciplinary team is exploring the technical and business opportunities, the environmental impact and the societal impact of this technology.”
Recently, Dr Rebecca Saive appeared in a University of the Netherlands video titled ‘How can we capture more solar energy on a cloudy day?’
We could power the entire world by capturing just a small percentage of the sun’s energy. One tiny problem: countries like the Netherlands are not exactly known for their sunny weather. So how can we harness the sunlight we do get more efficiently?