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IBM Planning to Bring Solar Costs to $2 / W

IBM has just squeezed the most power ever out of the smallest area of solar panel. By focusing the sun over 2300x, they were able to pull 70 watts of usable electric power out of one square CENTIMETER of silicon photovoltaic panel.

Of course, the concentrator itself is quite large. But as the silicon photovoltaics are undoubtedly the try it viagra online pharmacy no prescription most expensive piece of any solar installation, decreasing the amount needed dramatically reduces costs. Recently we reported on another company, Sunrgi, working on a similar technique, with similar claims of extremely inexpensive solar power. Both of these companies have had to face the same problem, keeping the photovoltaics from frying even when exposed to the power of buy cialis soft tabs thousands of suns. Sunrgi uses a proprietary cooling system, but this means that they can only concentrate solar power to viagra soft gel around 1600x.

IBM, who has a LOT of experience cooling silicon (though generally not in the form of photovoltaics) has a more advanced system.

the IBM team used a very thin layer of a liquid metal made of a gallium and order cheapest levitra online indium compound that they applied between the chip and a cooling block. Such layers, called thermal interface layers, transfer the i recommend where buy levitra heat from the chip to the cooling block so that the chip temperature can be kept low. 

The really exciting thing about this story is that its coming from IBM. When we heard Sunrgi exclaiming that they were on the path to truly cheap solar, we were excited, but skeptical. They are, after all, a young company searching for funding. But IBM has a lot more to lose in making claims that don't eventually pan out. In short, we believe them, and that's exciting.

Currently solar thermal projects, in which sunlight is focused in order to boil water and spin a turbine, is currently the cheapest way to get solar power. But IBM says that they think, if the silicon can be cooled effectively, concentrated photovoltaics could take over as the cheapest form of solar energy. All I care about is that it gets cheaper...and faster, and I really hope to see IBM bringing this technology to 100 mg viagra market fast.

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Sustainability
written by Jeff Darcy, May 16, 2008
While this is great news, I do wonder whether it's practical to deploy this particular gallium/indium cooling technology at large scale. While IBM seems to be validating the market, it seems to me that Sunrgi might be more on click here cheap viagra uk track to create a broadly deployable solution.
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...
written by Jay Tee, May 16, 2008
Oy vey! Think of all that wasted heat! What about placing thermal-electric chips there? Or some kind of thermal engine/generator?
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PV/Hot Water combo
written by Harry, May 16, 2008
I doubt that PV will ever be the robert-alonso-photos.com cheapest way to make hot water from the sun, but the waste heat from cooling the cells could/should be recovered and transferred to boost a solar hot water system.
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Whales and fans
written by Jeff, May 16, 2008
I would really like to have a couple of these on the roof. I wonder how well it responds to cheap levitra generic dust/dirt build-up. I would think that build-up would more of cheap viagra with fast delivery a problem since they are focusing the sun so much.

I also didn't know where to submit this, but you should all look at the following article. Maybe Hank will write about it.

http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2008/05/15/whales-inspire-better-blade-designs/
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...
written by Jeff, May 16, 2008
Scratch that, he already has written about it.
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...
written by Patrick, May 16, 2008
I think Nanosolar has a non-trivial edge however, in that they can produce near .99 per Watt of capacity, and their method of manufacturing is cheap discount levitra independent of silicon supply. Not to mention that as the price of oil goes up, the cost of mining, shipping, refining, shipping again, manufacturing and then shipping one or two more times a silicon PV panel will go up accordingly.











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question
written by james, May 16, 2008
I think someone suggested this kind of concentrating process would create extra heat in the surrounding area of a larger deployment of this technology, which would be a problem. I am wondering if that is in fact the case. Aren't you just concentrating the more widely dispersed heat of http://sfachc.org/online-cialis-prescription the sun, and once you disperse it again through the cooling process, you aren't really increasing the canada viagra surrounding heat at all? Anyone know the answer to this?
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Efficiency vs appearance
written by John, May 16, 2008
The contraption in the photo may be efficient from the standpoint of PV material used, but it is certainly not going to be acceptable on residential roofs. This is clearly headed for commercial applications such at the one Amonix produces. I think that PV will not really take off until a very durable, maintenance free, reasonably priced PV roofing tile is developed that you can totally cover your roof with, or at least half of the roof. Power companies will not be rooting for this solution so the money needs to come from other sources. I agree with Patrick that nano is the technology to watch.
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Can we get some benefit now?
written by Patrick, May 16, 2008
I'm a sailor with solar panels on my boat and I'm curious if you could use off the shelf parts and cheap prescription cialis add a reflector around the existing panel to bounce in more light. Seems like it would help and not really increase the heat too much. Any thoughts?
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RE: Can we get some benefit now?
written by John, May 16, 2008
The heat will be roughly proportional to buy viagra online canada the area of the sunlight you capture, so if you double the how can i buy levitra in canada effective area by using reflectors, it would follow that you would double the heat. This isn't strictly true though since much of the sunlight coming in at an angle will reflect off, as it will if the reflected light is all coming in at an angle. Photocells are most effective when the sun is cheapest levitra online perpendicular to the surface.

So the longwinded answer is yes, it will be more effective. Plus, if you keep the reflector a little above the surface of the solar cell so air is not trapped there, maybe the breeze you normally get will keep the cells cooled enough anyway.
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But where will all the gallium come from
written by Eoin O'Carroll, May 16, 2008
This article from the New Scientist quotes one chemist who suggests that, at current rates of usage, the world's supply of the metal will be exhausted by 2017.

http://www.science.org.au/nova/newscientist/027ns_005.htm


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Why not combine the technologies!!!
written by Yoshi, May 16, 2008
Instead of tramadol 50mg for dogs trying to dissipate the low cost propecia heat off of the silicon (and wasting it), why not combine both technologies, and transfer the heat to a fluid, the same way they do for solar thermal? All that heat should be used to generate more electricity!
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Keeping it Simple
written by Jason, May 16, 2008
I agree with patrick - why bother with an ugly breaky hulk when a flat thin panel will do the job? The appeal of thin film or integrated tiles is they can deliver on the promise of energy automatous buildings without adding visual pollution to the world. You know the idea: "good design wants to be invisible." My favourite research is on paint-on solar as it represents the acme of this idea, and if successful will render other energy solutions obsolete.
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...
written by james, May 16, 2008
but if you've got a high rise building, your rooftop area is limited while you need as much charge as you can get to buying cialis online help with energy needs. So I like this reduced area/higher collection. Not all buildings have paintable areas (glass structures, stone buildings, e.g.). Different solutions for different problems.
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...
written by Bob Wallace, May 16, 2008
"I'm a sailor with solar panels on my boat and I'm curious if you could use off the shelf parts and add a reflector around the existing panel to bounce in more light. Seems like it would help and not really increase the heat too much. Any thoughts?"

Sure. I'd suggest a piece of nice shiny mylar. Perhaps attach it to some foam board, piece of thin plywood, whatever allows you to secure it.

You can even use the light bouncing off a light colored topside. Just like panels sing when there's snow on the ground.

You already know about stuff turning into sails and boats swinging at anchor....
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...
written by Bob Wallace, May 17, 2008
There's not that much heat. It's just really concentrated on canada pharmacy chewable viagra one small spot. There's no more heat than one would expect in a glass fronted box of the same size.

Heat->Electricity devices are not all that good and are expensive. If you really wanted to use heat from sunlight to create electricity you would be much better off to use a bunch of heliostats and really deliver some sunlight.

If it was efficient to make a direct conversion from heat to electricity then we wouldn't see thermal solar being installed.
0
...
written by Bob Wallace, May 17, 2008
There's not that much heat. It's just really concentrated on one small spot. There's no more heat than one would expect in a glass fronted box of the same size.

Heat->Electricity devices are not all that good and are expensive. If you really wanted to use heat from sunlight to create electricity you would be much better off to use a bunch of heliostats and really deliver some sunlight.

If it was efficient to make a direct conversion from heat to electricity then we wouldn't see thermal solar being installed.
0
Big concentrated solar PV in the land of
written by Scot of online medications cialis the Antipodes, May 17, 2008
There are a few examples of large-scale concentrating solar PV in Australia. This one is under construction ...

http://www.solarsystems.com.au/154MWVictorianProject.html

The HCPV technology is daily viagra guarded while patents are pending but they do have panels up and running and the state and www.accessibleadventuresvt.org federal governments have enough faith in it to chip in some serious (by Australian standards) cash.

The home-based amplifier systems mentioned in the comments haven't really considered the fact that conventional PV output is significantly reduced when the panels get hot. They are most efficient in bright cold conditions - hence the great results on snow blinding days!

Solar thermal is another story. Our government scientific advisor (CSIRO) has released assessments that suggest recent improvements in solar thermal technology mean we could run our ENTIRE COUNTRY using ST.

We have the vignovin.com science. We have the sunlight. We don't have the infrastructure or the balls to supportmichaelocc.ca bring it about just yet. Here's to hoping we grow the infrastructure ... and the balls!


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I agree with Yoshi
written by Vladan, May 18, 2008
Yoshi is completely right. They should find something not to dissipate only the heat, but using it to heat the water. It's simple, no? 8). Here at the Reunion Island,www.reunionvoyage.com there are 40% of solar water heaters installed in the houses. The photovoltaic is much less used because more expensive, though.

Cheers
Vladan
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post comment should be at the top...
written by Troy, September 06, 2008
"What about placing thermal-electric chips there? Or some kind of thermal engine/generator?"

omg those things are even more expensive than solar.

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