This is a theoretical design with applications for a more efficient solar panel, efficient wireless energy transfer, and harnessing energy from everyday "noise". (Pat. Pending)
The idea for this design was inspired from analysing how radios work, the interactions of piezocrystals and their physical and electromechanical properties.
Photovoltaic cells are well known to be largely inefficient and the most efficient solar panels have a very large energy loss from light directed to the cells and electricity generated.
With energy needs rising through the roof, a new method of generating and transmitting power is needed.
The Solar panel is a practical application of the PhotoVoltaic Effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_effect for more info.
Piezo-Crystals are used in everyday applications like in spark igniters in stoves to analog radio receivers.
The reason for this is that these piezocrystals are named such for the PiezoElectric Effect which they exhibit
In short, the PiezoElectric Effect is where a solid will produce an electric charge or current when physically deformed.
Application 1 - More Efficient Solar Panels:
The proposed method of application is based on the fact that all light is a wave and both a particle, as well as sound being a wave through a medium.
when an object is struck with a wave of the same frequency a its resonant frequency, it will vibrate (physically deform), utilising this fact, its possible to create arrays of piezocrystals much the same way as a solar panel that will resonate at the frequency of light (lets use 555nm light [green] since it is the most strongest emitted visible light from the sun, this can be changed for other frequencies).
The practical upshot of this is that shining a green light onto a piezocrystal array that each crystal has a resonant frequency of 555nm, will produce an electric current.
Application 2 - Sound "collectors":
It is also possible to change the frequency of these arrays to the same frequency of noises in cities; car horns, sirens, radio signals.
The application of this is to collect the ambient noise in populated areas and use those sounds to vibrate a piezocrystal array, which will produce an electric current.
Application 3 - Directed Energy with minimal loss:
Say I have an electric aircraft flying in the sky, it needs power but I don't want it to land.
The method for supplying power with conventional means is to use a solar panel and either direct energy (laser or a flashlight) to the craft or have it collect energy from the sun. Both of these methods have the inherent limitations of conventional solar panels.
Utilising a PiezoCrystal array that, for example would resonate at a frequency of 635 nm to 660 nm. We can point a Ruby Diode laser towards the piezocrystal arrays and the light waves will cause the array to resonate, and thus produce power, with this specific light source, it is possible to increase the supply voltage of the laser ergo increasing the power given to the aircraft.
This application could also extend to sending electricity through space, since space as a vacuum has practically zero matter to interfere with the laser signal and "dull" it's power.
Old radio receivers use piezocrystals to receive the FM or AM signal sent by a station, that power that is received is almost useless as a power source simply because it is so weak, but can still be sent through a relay and its message (audio in this case) can be heard through the speakers.
For Application 3, a limitation of the energy transferred would be any physical object or matter between the energy source and the receiving array, but this limit would not apply within space, where you could use a much more powerful radio wave as the energy medium, directed through parabolic dishes to the receiving space craft.
The attached image was made by me by modifying an example rectifier circuit in a program called circuit simulator.
It demonstrates how an antenna or piezocrystal array can produce an AC current and be rectified into DC with an LED showing the output current.