Solar Power continues it advance!

August 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

There have been a couple of interesting stories out about advances in solar power generation and some niche technologies.

From Device Daily: (

“A partnership between Duke University and Boston College turned out to be very beneficial for the science world, as they obtained a metamaterial that absorbs all the light it gets (no, it doesn’t make things invisible), thus capable of generating more energy even than the solar cells.”

It is amazing to me the pace of discovery on all fronts of science…..

There was news a while back about a partnership to develop a coating for window that would turn them into solar panels generating electricity (  However there is now news of at least a prototype that will do just that. First there was the news from MIT (

From MIT’s News site:

“Imagine windows that not only provide a clear view and illuminate rooms, but also use sunlight to efficiently help power the building they are part of. MIT engineers report a new approach to harnessing the sun’s energy that could allow just that.

The work, to be reported in the July 11 issue of Science, involves the creation of a novel “solar concentrator.” “Light is collected over a large area [like a window] and gathered, or concentrated, at the edges,” explains Marc A. Baldo, leader of the work and the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering.

As a result, rather than covering a roof with expensive solar cells (the semiconductor devices that transform sunlight into electricity), the cells only need to be around the edges of a flat glass panel. In addition, the focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each solar cell “by a factor of over 40,” Baldo says.

Because the system is simple to manufacture, the team believes that it could be implemented within three years–even added onto existing solar-panel systems to increase their efficiency by 50 percent for minimal additional cost. That, in turn, would substantially reduce the cost of solar electricity.”

And there is actually a product out on the market that produces enough power to power your laptop or charge your cell phone.  However at a cost of around $1900 a square meter I don’t think that this will get the wide acceptance we would all hope for.  Still it is still early in the product development cycle for this type of technology so we will just have to wait and see.  Via Good Clean Tech:

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

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