Kodak may be in the middle of some financial trouble -- it just filed for bankruptcy yesterday and has shut down almost all of its camera film production -- but they're looking at solar energy as a way to a fresh start. The camera and film maker is hoping to use its already existing manufacturing processes to produce thin-film solar cells.
Kodak is working with Natcore Technology to develop and produce flexible, thin-film solar cells made of nanotubes that could match the efficiency of conventional silicon cells. Thin-film cells haven't made as much of a splash in the market yet mainly because of the efficiency lag between them and silicon cells, but thin-film is catching up.
If Kodak can make a major improvement in efficiency, they have two major advantages compared to other manufacturers: cost and experience. Kodak could use its existing and proven film production equipment to produce the solar cells, potentially cutting costs in half.
It will likely be tricky transition for the company, but we'll be interested to see if Kodak can make this work and improve on the thin-film technology available today.
via MIT Tech Review