In a story published on the Ars Technica site (arstechnica.com), researchers working in concert from IBM Zurich, Airlight Energy, and Dsolar (a subsidiary of Airlight) have developed a highly efficient solar thermal/photovoltaic system.
Essentially, the system concentrates solar energy, via reflectors, to the photovoltaic cells. To keep those same cells from melting, excess heat is used to heat water for domestic use, with the remainder used to heat a piece of silicon with microfluidic channels.
As reported on the Ars Technica site:
This piece of silicon, which is then stuck to the back of the computer chip like a tiny water block, has thousands of tiny channels that bring the water to within just a few microns of those pesky heat-generating transistors. This massively increases the amount of heat that can be dissipated, plus all of those discrete channels do a lot better job of dealing with chip hot spots (small regions that are more active than others) than the handful of giant channels in a conventional water block.
The end result is a device that can generate 12kW of electricity, along with 21kW of thermal energy.
Read the full story by clicking here.