A European research team has created a new solarpower technology, which generates energy by harnessing diamonds.
Named black diamond, the concept has been developed by ProME3ThE2US2 project within the European Commission’s (EC) FP7 framework.
A diamond can be used to capture solar radiation because of two key characteristics. It can withstand extremely high-temperatures and also has the ability to emit electrons efficiently.
However, their transparency means they lack the ability to interact with sunlight naturally. The black diamond technology removes this barrier and allows for effective absorption at temperatures up to 1,000°C.
The concept is cost-effective and can also be used for other electronic applications.
ProME3ThE2US2 project coordinator Dr Daniele M. Trucchi was quoted by International Innovation as saying: "Solar radiation is the largest energy source we have on Earth.
"It’s more efficient diffused exploitation means a higher energy availability with a minimal contribution to CO2 formation.
"Nevertheless, high-efficiency is not enough. Materials composing the converters cannot be toxic to humans and have to be simply and economically recoverable at the end of their lifetime."
ProME3ThE2US2 project team believes that black diamond technology will have a bright future as the prices of hydrocarbon increase and the economic case for fossil fuels declines.
Image: The black diamond technology can absorb solar radiation at temperatures up to 1000°C. Photo: courtesy of International Innovation.