How a Fiber Optic system works, according to researchers at the University of Washington, is that it converts sunlight into electricity by converting the light into a wire that can be used for communication.
Researchers have demonstrated the concept in a laboratory setting with a fiberoptic cable and a solar cell and it has proven that it is efficient and cost-effective.
In fact, the researchers say it can generate electricity in less than 1% of the time required for traditional solar cells.
So it’s a much cheaper alternative to traditional solar panels.
The paper was published in the journal Science Advances.
“Our study demonstrates that our optical fibers, while not as efficient as traditional solar cell materials, are more energy-efficient than conventional silicon photovoltaic cells and that they are more flexible than conventional solar cell material,” said study leader David Smith, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UW.
“This study also shows that we can increase the speed of the transmission by using an additional, lower-cost, non-toxic fiber.”
So, if you’re not sure whether you want to install a fiber-optic light bulb in your home, you could opt for the more efficient fiber optic cable.
The researchers also demonstrated that the system is more efficient than traditional solar panel technology.
“We found that fiber optic cables have the ability to provide power more efficiently than silicon solar cells because they are designed to have the same surface area as silicon,” said Smith.
“When we placed a fiber cable over the surface of a silicon photogenerator, the energy conversion efficiency was significantly greater than the efficiency of silicon solar cell.”
While our system does not generate as much energy as silicon, we believe this could be an attractive alternative for people who need to have a low-cost source of power.
“If you need a solar panel, you probably have one already.
“It’s a cost-saving technology that could help homeowners pay for the cost of solar panels that could eventually be replaced by fiber.” “
One of the advantages of fiber is that you don’t need to install the solar panel on the house, so you can save money,” said co-author and UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering and engineering technology Elizabeth Hickey.
“It’s a cost-saving technology that could help homeowners pay for the cost of solar panels that could eventually be replaced by fiber.”
The study used two kinds of fiber: 1) fiber optic fibers that are about 1/10th the width of a human hair, and 2) fiber-coated silicon photodetectors.
Fiber-coating silicon photodiode technology is the technology used in commercial fiber optic networks.
Silicon photodiodes are made up of an insulating layer of silicon, which absorbs infrared light.
In contrast, fiber optic photodiores absorb light.
Because silicon phototransistors are made of carbon atoms, they are extremely sensitive to the temperature and pressure in which they are placed.
This means that they can be extremely heat resistant and will absorb more heat than traditional silicon photoproductors.
Because the silicon has a surface area of about 20 nanometers (nanometers is the width, or width of one atom) it absorbs much less infrared light than other materials such as copper, which has a thickness of about 1 nanometer.
So, while the cost per watt is much higher for fiber optics, this technology is relatively easy to produce.
In this study, the UW researchers fabricated silicon photode arrays that are 2.5 times smaller than the diameter of a grain of rice.
The fiber-covered silicon photoreceptors have a diameter of less than one nanometer and they can store energy for several hours.
This system, which the researchers call the fiber-powered fiber optic commScope, could be integrated with existing solar systems.
The system could be used in a range of applications, including high-efficiency light bulbs and smart meters.
“In this study we have demonstrated a low cost, cost-efficient solution that can generate more energy per watt than a traditional solar system,” said Hickey, who is also a co-lead author of the paper.
“These are important points because we know that we need to invest in our energy systems in order to have our cities powered by solar.”
The team is also working to develop a more efficient, more cost-competitive system that will use a different type of fiber optic material and make use of materials such a copper wire.
This could reduce the cost by reducing the number of elements required to make the system.
In the future, the team says it plans to continue developing a more powerful system that can make use with more materials.