PRV Engineering Keenly Observe as New Energy Flowers Blossom Forth
PRV Engineering are very conscious of the amount of energy that many of their engineering machining processes consume. With energy being a precious and limited resource, recent news of the blossoming of a new man made GeS energy storing flower has aroused great interest, not only in engineering circles, but in the world at large.
The new GeS nanoflowers are the result of recent research undertaken by the North Carolina State University, and they could have a significant impact of the shape of future energy storage. The greatest energy source is of course the sun. It’s a virtually limitless source of supercharged power. The only problem is in harnessing it, which is where these new ‘flowers’ come into the equation.
GeS stands for Germanium Sulphide, a super semi-conductor material with the ability to absorb large amounts of energy. By creating new nanoflowers of GeS that contain a multitude of very thin ‘petals’, the total surface area within each nanoflower is immense, giving each ‘flower’ enormous energy storage potential that far belies its size.
The Germanium Sulphide powder is first heated inside a furnace to the point at which it begins to vaporize. Once vaporized it is then evacuated into a cooler section of the furnace where it forms into incredibly thin layers of solid GeS. Each layer is no more than 20 to 30 nm thick, and 100 µm long. To put this into some sort or perspective; 1nm = 1 nano-millimeter, which is one millionth of a millimeter; and 1µm = 1 micro-millimeter, which is 1 millionth of 1 metre. They are tiny! As more and more layers are formed, they connect together forming what appears to be a network of little petals that look exactly like a flower.
The researchers at The North Carolina State University developed the technique by tightly controlling the flow of the GeS vapour, which would otherwise clump rather than forming individual thin layers. It’s the unique atomic structure of GeS that makes it such an effective substrate for collecting solar energy that can then be converted into a power source.
The great thing about GeS is that it is relatively inexpensive when compared to other elements that are currently used for solar cell manufacture. Not only that, but it is also completely non-toxic too, making it an even more environmentally friendly choice of material.
PRV Engineering, champions energy conservation, not only in the business environment, but in home life too. The new GeS nanoflower research is a major step forward in the progress of developing alternative energy sources, whilst also protecting the precious resources we still have left.
From hippies to scientists and engineers – the new research brings a whole new meaning to the old phrase of “flower power”!