We've talked oh so much about NanoSolar in the last year. Their technology has seemed promising, their government grants outstanding, and levels of commitment from smart investors exceptional. It seems like a recipe for success...but only if they could take it from the lab into a $100 million manufacturing plant.
Well, they've done it. The 200,000-square-foot factory is online and producing cells! And apparently, despite the initial costs, it's producing cells cheaper than anyone else can produce them. The secret is a new technique for printing solar panels. Instead of producing huge sheet of single-crystal silicon (extremely expensive) nanosolar actually prints a mixture of rare metals in an extremely thin layer on a substrate (in the beginning, a strip of aluminum).
The result are solar panels that are less efficient, but can be produced much more quickly and cheaply than silicon solar panels. The first batch of Nanosolar panels is destined for a solar power plant in Germany (where there are very progressive solar subsidies).
Already, Nanosolar says that they can sell panels for roughly $1 per watt, which will result in $2 per watt installations. Suddenly, that starts to look a lot like the $2.1 per watt that it costs to build a coal plant.
And that is extremely exciting news.
written by brill, December 19, 2007
written by Free Thinker, December 20, 2007
written by Maheanuu Allain, December 20, 2007
written by weee, December 20, 2007
written by Home Build Nut, December 20, 2007
written by chris brandow, December 20, 2007
written by Katie L., December 20, 2007
written by himi, December 20, 2007
written by Conrad, December 20, 2007
written by Brandon R., December 26, 2007
written by Technology Transfer Company, February 11, 2008
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