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William Yuan is a thirteen year old boy from Beaverton, Oregon. Yuan has developed a 3D solar cell that has the potential to revolutionize solar power.[1] His project, named "A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light" was granted a $25,000 scholarship, the Davidson Fellow award,[2] for his education [3].

At the heart of Yuan's project is a solar cell that can harness both visible and ultraviolet light. Most solar collectors in use today are either photovoltaic, or solar thermal.[citation needed] While visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light are all heavily scattered or absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, ultraviolet light consists of shorter wavelength, higher energy photons than visible or infrared light.

Yuan's solar cells are calculated to absorb about five hundred times more light then a conventional solar cell and nine times more than advanced 3D solar cells. [4] 3D solar cells have been developed elsewhere, notably the Georgia Tech Research Institute.[5][6] They make use of carbon nanotubes, which allow the cell to distribute the energy it collects without dissipating as much as traditional cells do. William's solar cell utilized carbon nanotubes which double the efficiency of light-electricity conversion.[7]

Some of William's other endeavors include: FIRST Lego League, National Middle School Science Bowl, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, Signal to Noise, American Mathematics Competitions, Mathcounts, Chess, Geo-Bee, and the Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge and Taekwando, a sport in which he holds a black belt.

Honors and awards

  • 2009 OMSI Genius Award
  • 2008 Davidson Fellow[2]
  • 2008 Northwest Science Expo, Second Place
  • 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Best Engineering Project
  • 2008 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Talent Search, First Place in Oregon State (Verbal)
  • 2008 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Talent Search, First Place in Oregon State (Quantitative)
  • 2008 High Tech Kids First Lego League First Lego League (FLL) International Open (team), Second Place Champion’s Award
  • 2008 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament, Team Championship, First Place
  • 2008 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament, Second Place
  • 2007 Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Talent Search, First Place in Oregon State
  • 2007 Intel Oregon FLL Champion’s Award (team), First Place
  • 2007 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament, Team Championship, First Place
  • 2007 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament, Second Place
  • 2007 World Taekwondo Headquarters: Poom Certificate
  • 2006 Intel Oregon FLL State Tournament Young Team, First Place
  • 2006 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament, Team Championship, First Place
  • 2005 Intel Oregon FLL Regional Tournament (team), First Place Award
  • 2005 Oregon Chess for Success State Tournament (team), Second Place

References

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