background image
upper limit is about 32 percent. But it has
also been known that there are some pos-
sible avenues to increase that overall ef-
ficiency, such as by using multiple layers of
cells, a method that is being widely studied,
or by converting the sunlight first to heat
before generating electrical power. It is the
latter method, using devices known as solar
thermophotovoltaics, or STPVs, that the team
has now demonstrated.
The findings are reported this week in the
journal Nature Energy, in a paper by MIT
doctoral student David Bierman, professors
Evelyn Wang and Marin Soljacic, and four
While all research in traditional photovolta-
ics faces the same underlying theoretical
limitations, Bierman says, ¡°with solar ther-
mophotovoltaics you have the possibility to
exceed that.¡± In fact, theory predicts that in
principle this method, which involves pairing
conventional solar cells with added layers of
high-tech materials, could more than double
the theoretical limit of efficiency, potentially
making it possible to deliver twice as much
power from a given area of panels.
¡°We believe that this new work is an exciting
advancement in the field,¡± Wang says, ¡°as
we have demonstrated, for the first time, an
STPV device that has a higher solar-to-elec-
trical conversion efficiency compared to that
of the underlying PV cell.¡± In the demonstra-
tion, the team used a relatively low-efficiency
PV cell, so the overall efficiency of the system
was only 6.8 percent, but it clearly showed,
in direct comparisons, the improvement en-
abled by the STPV system.
The basic principle is simple: Instead of dis-
sipating unusable solar energy as heat in the
solar cell, all of the energy and heat is first
absorbed by an intermediate component, to
temperatures that would allow that compo-
nent to emit thermal radiation. By tuning the
materials and configuration of these added
layers, it¡¯s possible to emit that radiation in
the form of just the right wavelengths of light
for the solar cell to capture. This improves
the efficiency and reduces the heat generated
in the solar cell.
The key is using high-tech materials called
nanophotonic crystals, which can be made
to emit precisely determined wavelengths of
light when heated. (continued on pg4>>)
The Good News
2016 June/July
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
of companies that are definitive experts in their
fields and now come together to unlock the true im-
pact of Hyperloop,¡± said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop
One. ¡°Along with our partners, we will create new
projects and opportunities to solve transportation
challenges around the world through the technology,
services and expertise we jointly represent. The time
is right to bring new thinking to old problems and
harness new technologies and services to make a
quantum leap in transportation.¡±
The Company announced that Hyperloop One is
participating in privately funded feasibility studies to
examine the economic and social benefits of Hyper-
loop routes in Finland and Sweden. Hyperloop One
is partnering with FS Links Ab, a company based in
the land Islands in the heart of the Baltic region,
to develop the technical, commercial and policy case
for a strategic link between Stockholm and Helsinki.
The Company is also participating in a feasibility
study with Arcturan Sustainable Cargo of Los Ange-
les to determine how Hyperloop One can streamline
the movement of containers from the ports of Long
Beach and Los Angeles to reduce congestion and
pollution. The company has recently joined with
the founders of Cargo Sous Terrain in Switzerland
to investigate how Hyperloop One can help create
a completely tunneled cargo transport and logistics
system throughout Switzerland.
In order to harness the most creative minds in
making Hyperloop a reality, the company today an-
nounced the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. This
is an opportunity for individuals, companies and
governments to develop competitive proposals for
using the first Hyperloop One solutions on transport
corridors in their regions. The company will pro-
vide access to its expertise and ecosystem to help
develop these concepts. The deadline for entries is
September 15, 2016. Hyperloop One and an ex-
pert panel will select by March 2017 the projects
that best demonstrate the transformative power of
Hyperloop and are most likely to gain government,
financial and regulatory support.
Organizations such as Connekt Netherlands, an
independent network working to improve mobility
in the Netherlands in a sustainable manner, have
announced a Dutch National Hyperloop Competition
with the objective of finding a winner.
¡°We are very pleased to announce that Connekt will
run a Dutch National Hyperloop competition as a part
of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge,¡± said Nico
Anten, Managing Director, Connekt Netherlands.
¡°Our goal is to produce a nationally-coordinated,
Government-backed, Dutch entry to the challenge
that will effectively showcase the Netherlands as
one of the smartest logistics hub and passenger
transporters in the world.¡±
For more information on Hyperloop One and the
Hyperloop One Global Challenge, please visit:
About Hyperloop One
Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation by
developing the world¡¯s first Hyperloop, an elegant,
integrated structure to move passengers and cargo
between two points immediately, safely, efficiently,
and sustainably. Our team has the world¡¯s leading
experts in engineering, technology and transport
project delivery, working in tandem with global
partners and investors to make Hyperloop a reali-
ty, now. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the compa-
ny was founded in 2014 by its Executive Chairman
Shervin Pishevar and CTO Brogan BamBrogan, and
is led by CEO Rob Lloyd. For more information,
please visit:
About Hyperloop
Hyperloop is a tube-based transportation system
for inter- and intra-city transport. The removal of
air in a tube allows for high speed capsule trans-
port. The system maintains passenger comfort
while accelerating capsules safely to 760 mph. Hy-
perloop uses a combination of alternative energy
and conservation techniques such as photovoltaics,
wind, kinetic, regenerative braking, and geother-
mal power to ensure sustainability and low cost.
This suite of energy sources combined with an ac-
celerated, low-cost build enables Hyperloop to de-
velop rapidly and generate sustainable profitability,
unlike most other transportation modalities.
Hyperloop (continued from pg1)
Hot New Solar Cell
System converts solar heat into usable light,
increasing device¡¯s overall efficiency
David L. Chandler, MIT News Office, May 23, 2016:
A team of MIT researchers has for the first time
demonstrated a device based on a method that
enables solar cells to break through a theoretically
predicted ceiling on how much sunlight they can
convert into electricity.
Ever since 1961 it has been known that there is
an absolute theoretical limit, called the Shockley-
Queisser Limit, to how efficient traditional solar
cells can be in their energy conversion. For a
single-layer cell made of silicon, the type used for
the vast majority of today¡¯s solar panels, that