This Kid Really Shines

September 23, 2008 at 9:03 am 1 comment

In yet another story about really smart kids that are doing great things for the environment, here is one about a 12-year-old that has theorized a way to increase solar cell efficiency by nearly 500 percent.

William Yuan of Beaverton, Oregon developed the concept and presented it as his middle school science project. His work not only received notoriety in his home town, but captured the attention of the Davidson Institute who awarded young Mr. Yuan with a $25,000 (US) scholarship.

Inspired by Legos and encouraged by his science teacher, William designed a 3D solar cell which could seriously change solar power as we know it if it ever achieves commercialization. In his project “A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light,” William Yuan describes a solar panel that enables light absorption from visible to ultraviolet light. His design utilizes carbon nanotubes to overcome the barriers of electron movement, doubling the light-electricity conversion efficiency. William also developed a model for solar towers and a computer program to simulate and optimize the tower parameters. As a result, William’s design optimally provides 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than other 3-dimensional solar cells.

Yuan is currently looking for a manufacturer for his new solar cell.

More details regarding his research can be found on the Davidson Fellows website. In addition, there is a KATU TV news report on William Yuan.

By briansrapier

[via Treehugger]

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Entry filed under: Awards, Business, Contest, Energy, Environment, Informational, Manufacturing, Research, Solar, Starting a Business, Technology. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. This Kid Really Shines  |  September 23, 2008 at 9:37 am

    […] Go to the author’s original blog: This Kid Really Shines […]

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