1. Nature of Technology/Product
The Solar Mill concept is a method of integrating two different forms of solar energy collection into one efficient system. This coupling enables us to harvest energy from a wider range in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is achieved by modifying current solar panel design to reflect long wavelength electromagnetic radiation using thin film technology that is already commercially in use. In modern skyscraper designs windows are often given this thin film coating to reflect light outside the visible spectrum and prevent the building from heating up. In our application rather than the reflected radiation being undesirable, we are utilizing the pressure from it to turn the mill like structure. Using solar panels as the blades of the mill we are able to capture the visible light and convert it into electricity through the photo electric effect. When we coat the blades with the thin film we are able to maximize the pressure on the blades and create electricity the way that a wind mill would. However, there is a difference as you can see in the design we have the lower blades shielded to prevent negative pressure keeping the turbine still. This makes a more effective energy generator than we have in place now.
2. Market Need and Potential Impact
The modern-day space race has companies burning through billions of dollars every year in an effort to make space travel an everyday concept. The effort that these companies are making is with the purpose of decreasing the cost of sending people to space. This task is only made more difficult if the vehicles being developed need to bring large inefficient energy systems with them. Our product can aid this billion-dollar industry in reaching its goal much sooner by offering it efficient energy production in space.
3. Competitive Advantage and Technological Innovation
Our technology improves on and combines multiple existing technologies. First one being solar panels which are an excellent method for collecting energy from our sun, second being thin film technology which effectively reflects energy from our sun. By combining these two into a relatively small and light package we can maximize our energy collection and take advantage of what either package by itself would pass off as waste. In addition to reducing the waste of energy we are able to improve on the current method of utilizing solar pressure. Right now massive solar sails are the only way solar pressure is being used, by decreasing weight we can scale the technology more efficiently.
4. Potential Interest from Industry Partners
As we mentioned, this industry is already spending money in the billions and only has the expectation to grow. The competition in this market is growing and will continue to grow as we make advances into space. With that being the case market interest in this finished product is limitless.