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Flexible Silicon Solar Cells Use 99% Less Material

Researchers have found a way to make flexible silicon solar cells using only 1 percent of the material used in conventional solar cells.

The cells are made of micron-sized silicon wires that are encased in a flexible polymer that can be rolled or bent.  The researchers at Cal Tech who developed the cells eventually see them being used in clothing, but, for now, the cells could create cheaper and easier-to-install solar panels.

Large consumer electronic companies like Sharp have experimented with organic thin-film solar cells, which are flexible, but they're less efficient than those made with silicon.  This breakthrough is the latest in a recent crop of studies combining the efficiency of generic cialis india silicon (about 15 to 20 percent efficiency) with the flexibility of the organic thin-film cells, but this one has the cialis sale in australia distinction of using only 1/100th of the amount of silicon per cell as a traditional silicon wafer.

An added bonus to this type of solar cell is that existing manufacturing technology could be used to make them, further helping to cialis dosagem keep cost down.

via CNET


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Comments (9)Add Comment
And then what?
written by Chris, February 16, 2010
At least a few times a month, it seems that we get strung along with some new latest-greatest solar cell breakthrough. Where do all these solar cell innovations go? When are they going to translate into the affordable, economical, ubiquitous source of alternative energy that the world so desperately needs! Where is the move to mass marketing!
Not only solar cells
written by John, February 16, 2010
Yes Chris I have pondered that as well. Not only solar cells, seems like all types of free viagra sample Tech marvels are announced and then we never again hear about them. Would be nice to have a site about emerging Tech which is actually getting out there.
Yeah, we should only see posts about products after they become commercial!
written by Matthew, February 16, 2010
Who cares about cutting edge technology? Next time wait and see if they are mass marketed before posting. That is obvious sarcasm. Megan, please keep us informed even if the tech doesn't make it to market.

In reality though, (and I may be sticking my foot in my mouth here) this technology is try it order cialis never going to go anywhere. Why? Because who cares if Solar panels are bendable? Solar panels are not providing an "affordable, economical, ubiquitous source of alternative energy" because they are more expensive than coal. There is no market for bendable solar panels.
Oh, and "The researchers...eventually see them being used in clothing"! WTF! Who wants to be a walking battery? Why would I wan't to plug my iPod into my shirt when it has a perfectly good battery that I can recharge when I get home.
I don't want to i recommend cialis order sound like I am bashing clean tech though. At least the 1% silicon is a great breakthough. Hopefully that can translate into cheaper cells.
written by Greg, February 17, 2010
Strong, waterproof, solar panel type material for roofing would be and can be an economical boon to the industry. Just plug it in!

I believe I have seen something on it already, but not like this article mentions in the way of flexibilty.
Not quite...
written by Androo, February 17, 2010
Matthew, while I can't go into it too much without breaching my NDAs, there is definitely a market for flexible solar panels. And while our applications are considerably more out-there (and, to be fair, very niche) than the buy canadian viagra online standard, as Greg mentions, there are tremendous economic benefits in having solar panels that are lightweight and can be rolled into compact bundles and then easily unfurled on a roof - by cutting the cost of only for you levitra alternative installation dramatically, you end up nearly halving the total installed price of the panels. That's a big deal when it comes to economics.

And while I agree to an extent that only a relatively small percentage of these research breakthroughs lead to any kind of commercial product, the green-tech blogosphere is relatively young, and even the most immediately viable research still takes a few years to commercialize, so I imagine a few of innovations reported here will definitely be making it in the real world. You just don't really hear about the incremental improvements in the industry when they happen, because most people aren't interested in looking for information on that.
written by Bill, February 18, 2010
I suspect like all these things we will suddenly see these things take off when we least expect it. Usually these things are taken up by the general public when one visionary gets things moving against all the odds.
written by Braemer, February 18, 2010
Most of these things never see the light of day because they don't work. Publicity is generated by the 'researchers' in order to help acquire venture capital or government funding. The venture capital evaporates when the technology is demonstrated to be vaporware.

The world wide rise of technically illiterate green blogs like this one only serves to propagate this phenomena.
written by rick, February 19, 2010
Look up xunlight. The tech exists. Private firm out of Toledo Ohio. Not mainstream yet.
written by Phil Hughes, February 21, 2010
All so much good technology gets sidelined by politics which seems to be another word for corporate interests. My electric car cost $5000 and worked great but GM and oil companies told us electric vehicles were impractical.

With peak oil and climate change finally getting some press, hopefully technology like this can make it into the mainstream. In the mean time, being in Nicaragua actually offers more freedom to try things.

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