Sunday, May 02, 2010

US Patent 7705523 - Hybrid solar nanogenerator

This patent from Georgia Tech. Research teaches a power generator using both solar and mechanical (e.g. wind) sources of energy so as to generate power continuously over a range of changing environments. Claim 1 reads:

1. A hybrid solar and mechanical power generator, comprising:

a. a solar power generating portion electrically coupled to a first electrode; and

b. a piezoelectric nanowire vibrational power generating portion including:

i. an electrical contact structure electrically coupled to and extending downwardly from the first electrode and disposed adjacent to the solar power generating portion; and

ii. a plurality of piezoelectric semiconductor nanorods extending upwardly from a second electrode, spaced apart from the first electrode, so as to be directed toward the electrical contact structure and configured to release electrons across a Schottky barrier formed between the piezoelectric semiconductor nanorods and the electrical contact structure when mechanical energy is applied to the piezoelectric nanowire vibrational power generating portion.