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KATU.com:

A new invention could revolutionize solar energy – and it was made by a 12-year-old in Beaverton.

Despite his age, William Yuan has already studied nuclear fusion and nanotechnology, and he is on his way to solving the energy crisis.

It all started with Legos – after he learned nanotechnology to make robots take off. The seventh grader then got an idea inspired by the sun. “Solar it seems underused, and there are only a few problems with it,” Yuan said.

Encouraged by his Meadow Park Middle School science teacher, the 12-year-old developed a 3D solar cell. “Regular solar cells are only 2D and only allow light interaction once,” he said. And his cell can absorb both visible and UV light.

“I started to realize I was actually onto something,” Yuan said.

At first, he couldn’t believe his calculations. “This solar cell can’t be generating this much electricity, it can’t be absorbing this much extra light,” he recalled thinking.

If he is right, solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells.

Photo by KATU.com.

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Originally posted by Rich Whittle on September 24, 2008 in Inventions.

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