New Solar Technologies on the Horizon

May 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm 3 comments

As I have been writing this blog for about 2 weeks now I am beginning to get a feel in part for the path I would like to be on. Yesterday I started the first in an on going series about disaster preparedness, which will have additional installments every Thursday.

I would like to devote Fridays to technology, up and coming, existing and under used and the simply neat.

That brings us to a couple of new solar photo voltaic (PV) technologies that have made the news recently.

The most recent is from a company called Sunrgi who panels use an interesting configuration and process to focus the light on the panels generating a much more efficient cost per kilowatt.

“What differentiates SUNRGI’s XCPV system from any other solar energy system includes: a proprietary, integrated low profile technology for concentrating sunlight; a proprietary technology and methodology for cooling solar cells; a low cost, modular system optimized for mass-production; less land area or “roof top” requirements than typical solar energy systems; a technology road map for continuous improvement; low-cost field installation; and, a custom-designed system for easy operation and maintenance.” – Sunrgi Website

The other recent player is a company called Nanosolar that uses a method that relies on a spay technology to greatly increase manufacturing efficiency and drive down overall purchase costs.

Here is the description of the process from the company’s own blog:

“At Nanosolar, we have taken the highest-performance and most durable photovoltaic thin-film semiconductor, called CIGS (for “Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide”), and innovated on all seven critical areas necessary to reach a breakthrough cost reduction in solar cells, panels, and systems.

As opposed to using slow and expensive high-vacuum based thin-film deposition processes, we developed a proprietary ink (1) to allow us to use much simpler and higher-yield printing (2) for depositing the solar cell’s semiconductor.

We use a highly conductive yet low-cost foil as a substrate (3), which allows us to avoid the need to separately deposit an expensive bottom electrode layer (as required for a non-conductive substrate such as glass).

The foil furthermore allows us to

The result sets the standard for cost-efficient solar electricity.” – Nanosolar Weblog

Both of these are very exciting, especially when you consider that SUNRGI is saying that they will be in production in about 15 months and Nanosolar is already delivering panels to utility companies overseas.

As always I look forward to your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact me directly at:

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Entry filed under: Design, Solar Power, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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