30 Sep '16, 3pm

After the IC: Jack Kilby’s Solar Misadventure: The Nobel Prize winner spent a decade trying to create a house...

Kilby’s system differed from most other solar technologies in that it answered the eternal question, What do you do when the sun’s not shining? Because the system stored the chemical constituents separately and combined them on demand, the moment when photons struck could be temporally separated from the moment when the system created electricity. Kilby and his colleagues also believed that their system would be considerably easier to manufacture than other silicon-based solar energy schemes. At the time, fabricating large sheets of single-crystal silicon for photovoltaic cells was difficult and expensive. But Kilby’s liquid-fuel system used silicon pellets with less-exacting qualities. The tiny spheres could be produced using a method invented in the late 18th century to make shotgun pellets. In this fiendishly simple technique, molten lead (or silicon) is poured from the...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/after-the-ic-j...

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After the IC: Jack Kilby’s Solar Misadventure h...

spectrum.ieee.org 30 Sep '16, 10pm

Kilby’s system differed from most other solar technologies in that it answered the eternal question, What do you do when t...