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EnErgy ยท FOcuS FiNlAND 2011 going nAnO PHOTOS: bENEq Nanomaterials have special properties that can bring an entirely new dimension to renewable energy technologies. agle windpower uses a nanomaterial known as hybtonite to make light but durable blades for small wind turbines. Hybtonite is made up of carbon nanotubes just 1/50,000th of the thickness of a human hair. "Hybtonite was originally developed to make ice hockey sticks and skis, but it was soon discovered that it would be ideal for wind turbine blades," explains Eagle windpower's marketing director Miamari Siitonen. Hybtonite is one hundred times stronger than steel, but only half as heavy as the glass fibre used in conventional turbines. This means that blades can be much larger and catch more wind, especially at low wind speeds. Eagle windpower's turbines are suitable for homes, farms and small industrial premises. "we have built up a sales network around Northern Europe where there is very high interest in such turbines," says Siitonen. E thin film coatings for solar cells industrial coating specialists beneq have launched the commercial production of machines that coat photovoltaic solar cells with super-thin films. This is done by applying atomic layer deposition and aerosol coating technologies at the nanoscale. These fine chemically-grown coatings enhance the efficiency of both silicon and thin film solar cells used in solar power systems by preventing the loss of current from their surfaces. Sunlight can easily penetrate into the cells through the coatings, whose thicknesses are measured in millionths of a millimetre. "There is great interest in such nanocoating systems amongst solar cell manufacturers around the world," says beneq's photovoltaic applications manager Jarmo Skarp. 36

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