Chinese scientists have developed a new device of 3D hollow-cone structure that can greatly increase the solar-thermal conversion efficiency. The device, named ‘Artificial Transpiration’ by Zhu Jia and his team from the Nanjing University, is inspired by the transpiration process of trees. It has a special 1D water path within it, which can reduce the energy loss in conduction. The cone structure, based on a graphene film, can collect more sunlight throughout the day when compared with a flat device, as about 10 percent to 50 percent of sunlight is diffusive. Thus it performs even better in the real world than in the laboratory. The device can enhance the solar-thermal conversion rate to 85 percent, which is much higher than the 40 percent rate of common devices. Many sectors have refrained from using solar power because of its low conversion rate caused by losses in radiation, convection and conduction. The device will open new possibilities in the utilization of solar energy.

  • It increases the solar-thermal conversion efficiency.
  • It has a special 1D water path within it, which can reduce the energy loss in conduction.
  • It can collect more sunlight throughout the day when compared with a flat device.
  • The device can enhance the solar-thermal conversion rate to 85 percent
  • The device will open new possibilities in the utilization of solar energy.