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Clean Power Sungri XCPV

Published on May 10th, 2008 | by Michelle Bennett

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Solar Power Goes to Extremes for 5 Cents per kWh

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May 10th, 2008 by
 
Sungri XCPV

Xtreme Concentrated Solar Power: if a magnifying glass is like lightning to ants, this would be their atomic bomb.

We already know that concentrated solar power (CSP) is shaking things up in the solar industry. A subset within the industry is turning up the heat. “Extreme” Concentrated solar magnifies intense sunlight onto a solar cell, at temperatures that could melt it, to boost efficiency for less money.

The holy grail of renewable energy is not just efficiency but competitive pricing. Most consumers don’t want to wait 5-10+ years to earn back their investment in energy savings, assuming that they can afford solar. Never mind the added value of generating some of your own energy. Utility-scale facilities hinge not only on cost, but infrastructure. If you build your solar/wind farm in the desert, transmission lines may not come out to meet you. So when someone claims to have a cheap, efficient solar technology, people pay attention.

>> Want cheap solar? Join the most effective community solar purchasing program in the US.

Extreme Concentrated Solar stands out because it claims to be affordable and very efficient. Unlike solar-thermal (CSP), which utilizes the heat of the sun, this technology still converts light into power (photo voltaic). So many solar companies have attempted to reduce cost by rising to industrial scale, but this method takes the opposite approach. XCPV (extreme concentrated photo voltaic) uses very small solar panels combined into a module design, and modules are infinitely scalable.

Solar efficiency chartThe most recent announcement comes from Sunrgi, which claims its XCPV system will “produce electricity at a wholesale cost of 5-cents per kWh” (via news release). Their system magnifies sunlight 2,000 times at over 3,000 degree Fahrenheit onto a small, top-of-the-line solar panel, which dramatically boosts the amount of energy the panel can produce. Since the system is in a module, it can be as big or small as you want. The modules also track the sun throughout the day to maximize power output, and they’re upgradable. That means if better solar panels hit the market in the future (or if theirs do get fried after all), you can switch them out. Another feature Sunrgi claims is an impressive efficiency rating of 37.5%. For the uninitiated, that might not sound like much, but consider that the world record in February, 2008 was 31.25% using CSP – on an unusually sunny day. But the whole system hinges on its cooling mechanism, described only as nanotech “goop”, to prevent the solar panels from melting. And that technology is still “proprietary”. In other words, they haven’t actually made commercial product yet.

Before you let your hopes dash to the wind (another future technology!?), let me set you at ease. Sunrgi hopes to bring their product to market in about a year, so we’re not talking about pipe dreams. These guys are serious, and they’re out to make some money at 5 cents/kwh. But fortunately for us all, this technology is not new, and Sunrgi is not the first to point a magnifying glass at a solar panel. The Aussies beat us to it.

Suncube productionIt started out as the Sunball in 2005, but soon evolved into the Suncube. The Suncube also concentrates solar energy with an efficiency rating over 30%. It’s a modular system that tracks the sun and appears less bulky than the Sunrgi system.

The system comes to us from Green and Gold Energy of Adelaide, Australia, but before I provide the link, let me disclaim. Apparently, if you believe the word on the street, the website is the personal baby of GG&E’s founder. He’s very proud of his GG&E site. More important is the product: not only is GG&E producing XCVP modules around the world, but they’ve already signed a deal with Emcore, who will provide concentrated solar cells with 20 year warranties. Partner groups ES Systems in Korea just secured $28 millions dollars more worth of Emcore solar cells. More importantly, GG&E is building a manufacturing facility, and their product is already on the market.

So the exciting thing about Extreme Concentrated Photo Voltaics is the combination of high efficiency with low price. By magnifying the power of the sun, these companies are pushing the envelope at a time when energy prices are high. But these ventures are not without risk. Inadequate cooling of of the solar cells could result in decreased performance or melting. There’s also hurdles facing solar energy; the least of which is investing in manufacturing infrastructure, and transporting product. But the magic number here is 5 cents/ kwh. Mike Chino of Inhabitat.com notes:

“Craig Goodman, president of the National Energy marketers Association, has stated that “Solar power at 5 cents per kWh would be a world-changing breakthrough. It would make solar generation of electricity as affordable as generation from coal, natural gas, or other non-renewable sources, without require and subsidy.””

(edit: fixed some spelling and clarified the title)

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About the Author

is an environmentalist who loves to write. She grew up across the southeastern USA and especially love the Appalachian mountains. She went to school in the northeast USA in part to witness different mindsets and lifestyles than those of my southern stomping grounds. She majored in English Lit. and Anthropology. She has worked as a whitewater rafting guide, which introduced her to a wilderness and the complex issues at play in the places where relatively few people go. She also taught English in South Korea for a year, which taught her to take nothing for granted.



  • R. Brian English

    Add a Peltier device to the bottom unit and get more energy from the temperature differential, increase your output another 10-20%. then send me one or two :)

  • http://www.SolarElectricityHandbook.com Solar Book

    This is exciting technology, but I suspect that these solar concentrators will be targetted at specific niche products rather than being available for general use for some time to come.

    The reason is down to the installation. Get it wrong with a normal solar panel and at worst you’ll get decreased performance and less electricity than you may expect. Get it wrong with solar concentrators and you risk burning down your building…

    For that reason, expect to see solar concentrators being used in specialist applications. Powering vending machines, or providing lighting to a bus stop canopy for example.

    That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t get excited about solar concentrators – we should. We just shouldn’t expect them to be the answer for every solar problem we have at the moment.

    Meanwhile, if you really want to get excited about low cost solar – here is some exciting news: the trade price for amorphous solar panels in the Far East is now down to just over the $1 a watt mark. Competitively priced solar panels that can be used on normal household projects by enthusiasts is definately coming…

  • http://www.SolarElectricityHandbook.com Solar Book

    This is exciting technology, but I suspect that these solar concentrators will be targetted at specific niche products rather than being available for general use for some time to come.

    The reason is down to the installation. Get it wrong with a normal solar panel and at worst you’ll get decreased performance and less electricity than you may expect. Get it wrong with solar concentrators and you risk burning down your building…

    For that reason, expect to see solar concentrators being used in specialist applications. Powering vending machines, or providing lighting to a bus stop canopy for example.

    That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t get excited about solar concentrators – we should. We just shouldn’t expect them to be the answer for every solar problem we have at the moment.

    Meanwhile, if you really want to get excited about low cost solar – here is some exciting news: the trade price for amorphous solar panels in the Far East is now down to just over the $1 a watt mark. Competitively priced solar panels that can be used on normal household projects by enthusiasts is definately coming…

  • green

    what if the solar panels were part steel or steel with spray on type solar panels i believe this tecnology is out there and could possibly be intergrated just a thought

  • green

    what if the solar panels were part steel or steel with spray on type solar panels i believe this tecnology is out there and could possibly be intergrated just a thought

  • Frank Randall

    The Aussies did not beat us to it. Amonix has been doing this for years.

  • Frank Randall

    The Aussies did not beat us to it. Amonix has been doing this for years.

  • Micah

    Maybe I am missing someting here, but is the company claiming a new type of PV transducer?

    If you have a module which collects energy from the sun (photons) over a given surface area and concentrates them via a lens onto a small transducer, then surely you would only get an efficiency gain over a conventional nultiple PV cells using the same collection area if either

    a) the PV cell operated in a more efficient region of its characteristic transduction curve at the higher energy level

    b) you used an alternate (more efficient) PV type which needs the higher energy level to function.

    If the PV cells are ‘normal’ ones and a) above is true, then there is clearly a potential per module cost saving by reducing the number of cells used I guess, but I don’t get from this article what the essential advance claimed here is.

  • Micah

    Maybe I am missing someting here, but is the company claiming a new type of PV transducer?

    If you have a module which collects energy from the sun (photons) over a given surface area and concentrates them via a lens onto a small transducer, then surely you would only get an efficiency gain over a conventional nultiple PV cells using the same collection area if either

    a) the PV cell operated in a more efficient region of its characteristic transduction curve at the higher energy level

    b) you used an alternate (more efficient) PV type which needs the higher energy level to function.

    If the PV cells are ‘normal’ ones and a) above is true, then there is clearly a potential per module cost saving by reducing the number of cells used I guess, but I don’t get from this article what the essential advance claimed here is.

  • Karl

    I’m skeptical about the 37.5% efficiency rating. Crystalline PV modules lose ~.5% efficiency per degree Celsius above their rated output (standard test conditions at 25 degrees C. As the substrate heats up, the losses would be considerable. This is not a new idea as stated in a prior post. Also, modules would degrade far more quickly at these temperatures and replacement would eat into that 5 cents/kwh rating. With federal and state subsidies here in California the best plan of attack is still the standard crystalline module with a payoff of 7-10 years and a 50+ year lifespan.

  • Karl

    I’m skeptical about the 37.5% efficiency rating. Crystalline PV modules lose ~.5% efficiency per degree Celsius above their rated output (standard test conditions at 25 degrees C. As the substrate heats up, the losses would be considerable. This is not a new idea as stated in a prior post. Also, modules would degrade far more quickly at these temperatures and replacement would eat into that 5 cents/kwh rating. With federal and state subsidies here in California the best plan of attack is still the standard crystalline module with a payoff of 7-10 years and a 50+ year lifespan.

  • Irina

    I am not worried about the leafs or the fire, I am really worried about the birds… This flash light can bring a lot of damage to a whole life cycle. Think about a whole community with the roof on flash lights, they will have to change the route, and stop eating some animals, and this animals become a plague, or others become an agressive predator

  • Irina

    I am not worried about the leafs or the fire, I am really worried about the birds… This flash light can bring a lot of damage to a whole life cycle. Think about a whole community with the roof on flash lights, they will have to change the route, and stop eating some animals, and this animals become a plague, or others become an agressive predator

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Dan: you know, in some states farmers do lease their land for solar panels and wind farms. They let someone else pay for the equipment/ installation and get a cut of money from the energy produced. Florida you say? You’ve got some tasty tax benefits for solar down there; maybe it’s worth a look.

    @ Fallblackberries: A lot of people share your exact concerns, so one company did some business innovation and got around the issue. Instead of selling solar panels, they lease them. That way consumers pay less and still reap the benefits, and the panels can travel with you to your new home. Check it out, run an internet search for “solar panel lease” or something similar.

    Victor: I’d say there’s a lot of potential if you can get them over to Africa. The only problem I see with these products is that they’re still new and in limited supply.

    There are a few solar products out there these days designed for homes or communities that are off grid and low on cash. Cleantechnica recently wrote about a solar cube, for example, but there are lots more.

    Also, I could definitely see homemade innovations being used to boost production from old solar panels. Mirrors, etc. could point more light onto any given panel without the risk of melting it. Silicon panels in particular are long-lived and keep most of their efficiency even after 30+ years.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Dan: you know, in some states farmers do lease their land for solar panels and wind farms. They let someone else pay for the equipment/ installation and get a cut of money from the energy produced. Florida you say? You’ve got some tasty tax benefits for solar down there; maybe it’s worth a look.

    @ Fallblackberries: A lot of people share your exact concerns, so one company did some business innovation and got around the issue. Instead of selling solar panels, they lease them. That way consumers pay less and still reap the benefits, and the panels can travel with you to your new home. Check it out, run an internet search for “solar panel lease” or something similar.

    Victor: I’d say there’s a lot of potential if you can get them over to Africa. The only problem I see with these products is that they’re still new and in limited supply.

    There are a few solar products out there these days designed for homes or communities that are off grid and low on cash. Cleantechnica recently wrote about a solar cube, for example, but there are lots more.

    Also, I could definitely see homemade innovations being used to boost production from old solar panels. Mirrors, etc. could point more light onto any given panel without the risk of melting it. Silicon panels in particular are long-lived and keep most of their efficiency even after 30+ years.

  • VICTOR

    whats the potential of using BiPVs in Africa.

    is there anything we are not being told?

    I will be really interested to know.

  • VICTOR

    whats the potential of using BiPVs in Africa.

    is there anything we are not being told?

    I will be really interested to know.

  • fallblackberries

    I was very impressed with this product. I have been searching for more cost efficient solar power for my home. Power that would pay for itself in a shorter time frame.

    The compact size is ideal.

    I think you will find a market among average homeowners, of which there are many in the u.s., if the initial price of getting started is reasonable.

    Right now when I think of the cost of solar vs. how long I will be in my home. Its out of balance.

    My electric has skyrocketed to $300 plus mo.

    Frankly, I would rather be paying off a new system of solar if both the system and related costs were cut in half.

    See if you can pull that off. I have lots of friends honey!

  • fallblackberries

    I was very impressed with this product. I have been searching for more cost efficient solar power for my home. Power that would pay for itself in a shorter time frame.

    The compact size is ideal.

    I think you will find a market among average homeowners, of which there are many in the u.s., if the initial price of getting started is reasonable.

    Right now when I think of the cost of solar vs. how long I will be in my home. Its out of balance.

    My electric has skyrocketed to $300 plus mo.

    Frankly, I would rather be paying off a new system of solar if both the system and related costs were cut in half.

    See if you can pull that off. I have lots of friends honey!

  • Carl Revine

    I think it’s fantastic! These logistical issues about falling leaves and the sort are not show stoppers by any means. If that kind of thing would stop us, concerns about other forms of energy would have left us in the dark. Just take a deep breath, step back, and look at the big picture, the small details are just that, small details. The future is here, embrace it, a new dawn is upon us, think positive and make it real.

  • Carl Revine

    I think it’s fantastic! These logistical issues about falling leaves and the sort are not show stoppers by any means. If that kind of thing would stop us, concerns about other forms of energy would have left us in the dark. Just take a deep breath, step back, and look at the big picture, the small details are just that, small details. The future is here, embrace it, a new dawn is upon us, think positive and make it real.

  • Dan

    1. In Illinois the birthplace of the A-bomb the utility company said in the 70′s that the energy prices for nuclear energy will be half of coal. After 25 years of nuclear energy over 80% (close to 90%) of the used capacity it never came down to less than 125% of the price of coal energy. They just closed down one nuclear plant and restarted a coal fired one in the last 2 years.

    2. If you think countries of less than 30 million people will supply solar panels for the US demand, I have some prime land for sale on the moon (or Ft. Lauderdale).

  • Dan

    1. In Illinois the birthplace of the A-bomb the utility company said in the 70′s that the energy prices for nuclear energy will be half of coal. After 25 years of nuclear energy over 80% (close to 90%) of the used capacity it never came down to less than 125% of the price of coal energy. They just closed down one nuclear plant and restarted a coal fired one in the last 2 years.

    2. If you think countries of less than 30 million people will supply solar panels for the US demand, I have some prime land for sale on the moon (or Ft. Lauderdale).

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  • http://www.bookcalendar.blogspot.com Book Calendar

    This looks like one of those utility and commercial things. You might have it power a small town, a neighborhood, or an industrial plant.

  • http://www.bookcalendar.blogspot.com Book Calendar

    This looks like one of those utility and commercial things. You might have it power a small town, a neighborhood, or an industrial plant.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Jon:

    You’re absolutely right. At the moment, Nanosolar is ahead of the game. The major benefit over Nanosolar that this technology promises is efficiency. If this product can be just as cheap (a lofty goal) and 2x-3x times more efficient, they’ll have Nanosolar beat in certain markets. Both technologies are promising; I’m hoping to see a lot more of them around in the near future.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Jon:

    You’re absolutely right. At the moment, Nanosolar is ahead of the game. The major benefit over Nanosolar that this technology promises is efficiency. If this product can be just as cheap (a lofty goal) and 2x-3x times more efficient, they’ll have Nanosolar beat in certain markets. Both technologies are promising; I’m hoping to see a lot more of them around in the near future.

  • http://nanosolar.com jon b. detrick

    I believe there is a even better technology utilizing solar power and that is the product that nanosolar will be bringing to the market in the next 1-3 years.I say 1-3 years because they have the product and now are expanding production capabilities to meet anticipated demand. They were wrote up in Populat Science dec. 07 issue. they have a thin film technology (equivalent to 3 sheets of aluminum foil that makes it easier & affordable for average homeowner to buy & install. Right now, there current manufacturing capacity is rather limited but they are building a new plant in California & Germany. There are links on their website to other competitors doing similar products as well. Product comes in a roll.

    jon b.

  • http://nanosolar.com jon b. detrick

    I believe there is a even better technology utilizing solar power and that is the product that nanosolar will be bringing to the market in the next 1-3 years.I say 1-3 years because they have the product and now are expanding production capabilities to meet anticipated demand. They were wrote up in Populat Science dec. 07 issue. they have a thin film technology (equivalent to 3 sheets of aluminum foil that makes it easier & affordable for average homeowner to buy & install. Right now, there current manufacturing capacity is rather limited but they are building a new plant in California & Germany. There are links on their website to other competitors doing similar products as well. Product comes in a roll.

    jon b.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @Lin Grant:

    You know I would in a heartbeat, BUT I’m just a humble blogger. You can click the links in my article to connect with these companies. The link over the word “Sunrgi” will take you to the American company’s website. Since they’re working on bringing their product to market, they just might (maybe?) need a pilot program. Naturally I can’t speak for them, but you never know and it doesn’t hurt to ask…

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @Lin Grant:

    You know I would in a heartbeat, BUT I’m just a humble blogger. You can click the links in my article to connect with these companies. The link over the word “Sunrgi” will take you to the American company’s website. Since they’re working on bringing their product to market, they just might (maybe?) need a pilot program. Naturally I can’t speak for them, but you never know and it doesn’t hurt to ask…

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Dennis Kelly,

    Sorry for the confusion. Part of the reason they tend to use terms like $/ kilowatt hour is because that’s a useful measurement for utilities. Utilities are used to spending money to build infrastructure and then reap the benefits in the long term – i.e. how little they pay for the power produced over a product’s lifetime.

    As for price range, the Australian product (supposedly they’ll sell you a whole container full, meaning several hundred) go for around $1000 a pop. In theory. I tried to find their order form, but the link wasn’t working.

    The Sunrgi system isn’t ready for market just yet (next year, they say), so prices haven’t been announced. I think they’re finishing the last details on their manufacturing process so keep your eyes and ears open for details.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Dennis Kelly,

    Sorry for the confusion. Part of the reason they tend to use terms like $/ kilowatt hour is because that’s a useful measurement for utilities. Utilities are used to spending money to build infrastructure and then reap the benefits in the long term – i.e. how little they pay for the power produced over a product’s lifetime.

    As for price range, the Australian product (supposedly they’ll sell you a whole container full, meaning several hundred) go for around $1000 a pop. In theory. I tried to find their order form, but the link wasn’t working.

    The Sunrgi system isn’t ready for market just yet (next year, they say), so prices haven’t been announced. I think they’re finishing the last details on their manufacturing process so keep your eyes and ears open for details.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @Paul:

    I’ve heard other similar sentiments as well. I think it’s a wonderful and possible lucrative idea, but you’d have to be careful with the solar cells. At 3000*F, I bet there’s not much margin for error.

    If it could be done, I wonder how much more energy they could produce?

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @Paul:

    I’ve heard other similar sentiments as well. I think it’s a wonderful and possible lucrative idea, but you’d have to be careful with the solar cells. At 3000*F, I bet there’s not much margin for error.

    If it could be done, I wonder how much more energy they could produce?

  • http://greenchemistry.wordpress.com/ James Bashkin

    Thanks Michelle. This is another new technology I’m happy to have learned about. Best wishes, Jim

  • http://greenchemistry.wordpress.com/ James Bashkin

    Thanks Michelle. This is another new technology I’m happy to have learned about. Best wishes, Jim

  • http://greenchemistry.wordpress.com/ James Bashkin

    Thanks Michelle. This is another new technology I’m happy to have learned about. Best wishes, Jim

  • http://greenchemistry.wordpress.com/ James Bashkin

    Thanks Michelle. This is another new technology I’m happy to have learned about. Best wishes, Jim

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Roger:

    links please?

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Roger:

    links please?

  • Lin Grant

    Are you planning a pilot program? Would you consider a senior community whch needs solar for itwss fixed income folks but cannot aford it.

  • Lin Grant

    Are you planning a pilot program? Would you consider a senior community whch needs solar for itwss fixed income folks but cannot aford it.

  • Denis Kelly

    all this “5c per kw hr “is a bit confusing, as this evaluation depends on electrical output,price of unit & life of unit .What I want to know is –how much does it cost,& how much power does it put out.

  • Denis Kelly

    all this “5c per kw hr “is a bit confusing, as this evaluation depends on electrical output,price of unit & life of unit .What I want to know is –how much does it cost,& how much power does it put out.

  • Denis Kelly

    all this “5c per kw hr “is a bit confusing, as this evaluation depends on electrical output,price of unit & life of unit .What I want to know is –how much does it cost,& how much power does it put out.

  • Denis Kelly

    all this “5c per kw hr “is a bit confusing, as this evaluation depends on electrical output,price of unit & life of unit .What I want to know is –how much does it cost,& how much power does it put out.

  • Paul

    I’d like to see a PV product that produced electricity AND hot water that I could use to heat my house.

  • Paul

    I’d like to see a PV product that produced electricity AND hot water that I could use to heat my house.

  • Dick McQwik

    Above the Sun Belt, thermopiles, swimming pools, water closets and residential geothermal heat pumps can all make good use of this solar voltaic enhancement using Fresnel’s lenses.

    Keeping trim by swimming two extra months a year and having nice cozy outhouses and ice fishing houses to enjoy in the winter, I could chose the pure air of Minnesota over being gassed in Manhattan.

  • Dick McQwik

    Above the Sun Belt, thermopiles, swimming pools, water closets and residential geothermal heat pumps can all make good use of this solar voltaic enhancement using Fresnel’s lenses.

    Keeping trim by swimming two extra months a year and having nice cozy outhouses and ice fishing houses to enjoy in the winter, I could chose the pure air of Minnesota over being gassed in Manhattan.

  • Dick McQwik

    Above the Sun Belt, thermopiles, swimming pools, water closets and residential geothermal heat pumps can all make good use of this solar voltaic enhancement using Fresnel’s lenses.

    Keeping trim by swimming two extra months a year and having nice cozy outhouses and ice fishing houses to enjoy in the winter, I could chose the pure air of Minnesota over being gassed in Manhattan.

  • http://surrealu.blogspot.com claytonian

    I don’t think leaves can get into a box.

  • http://surrealu.blogspot.com claytonian

    I don’t think leaves can get into a box.

  • http://apricealert.com lowspeed

    Ray… The heat will be under the glass no wherre the leafs could fall.

  • http://apricealert.com lowspeed

    Ray… The heat will be under the glass no wherre the leafs could fall.

  • http://apricealert.com lowspeed

    Ray… The heat will be under the glass no wherre the leafs could fall.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Ray: You have a good point there, but I doubt a few burning leaves would threaten a home. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that; if they are going up on roofs, the companies will be required to prevent fire hazards.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Ray: You have a good point there, but I doubt a few burning leaves would threaten a home. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that; if they are going up on roofs, the companies will be required to prevent fire hazards.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    @ Ray: You have a good point there, but I doubt a few burning leaves would threaten a home. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that; if they are going up on roofs, the companies will be required to prevent fire hazards.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    ff & SoLo: ah, you’re both right. It seems my proofreading skills lapsed last night when I wrote most of this. Will edit.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    ff & SoLo: ah, you’re both right. It seems my proofreading skills lapsed last night when I wrote most of this. Will edit.

  • http://cleantechnica.com Michelle Bennett

    ff & SoLo: ah, you’re both right. It seems my proofreading skills lapsed last night when I wrote most of this. Will edit.

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  • Roger Edmunds

    What are you talking about?? The Aussies beat us too it in 2005???

    Edmund Scientific was selling solar cells with magnifiers to the public in the 70s! Hobbyists were buying small solar cells from Radio Shack in the 70s and adding magnifiers on their own.

    How about doing some research and (gasp!) journalism instead of regurgitating advert press releases?

  • Roger Edmunds

    What are you talking about?? The Aussies beat us too it in 2005???

    Edmund Scientific was selling solar cells with magnifiers to the public in the 70s! Hobbyists were buying small solar cells from Radio Shack in the 70s and adding magnifiers on their own.

    How about doing some research and (gasp!) journalism instead of regurgitating advert press releases?

  • Roger Edmunds

    What are you talking about?? The Aussies beat us too it in 2005???

    Edmund Scientific was selling solar cells with magnifiers to the public in the 70s! Hobbyists were buying small solar cells from Radio Shack in the 70s and adding magnifiers on their own.

    How about doing some research and (gasp!) journalism instead of regurgitating advert press releases?

  • mcwizard

    I would hope the area where the light is concentrated would be sealed, hence no leaves to start on fire. However, leaves falling on top would decrease the efficiency. For $0.05 per kWh, I’d be willing to go up and clean it off everyday, especially if it means reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

  • mcwizard

    I would hope the area where the light is concentrated would be sealed, hence no leaves to start on fire. However, leaves falling on top would decrease the efficiency. For $0.05 per kWh, I’d be willing to go up and clean it off everyday, especially if it means reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

  • ff

    Its not per watt. Its 5c per kilowatt hour. Five cents a watt would mean you could power your house for $200 of solar panels rather than the $20,000 it actually costs.

  • ff

    Its not per watt. Its 5c per kilowatt hour. Five cents a watt would mean you could power your house for $200 of solar panels rather than the $20,000 it actually costs.

  • ff

    Its not per watt. Its 5c per kilowatt hour. Five cents a watt would mean you could power your house for $200 of solar panels rather than the $20,000 it actually costs.

  • SoLo

    These ‘hurtles’ you speak of, they sound painful.

  • SoLo

    These ‘hurtles’ you speak of, they sound painful.

  • SoLo

    These ‘hurtles’ you speak of, they sound painful.

  • Ray NL

    For some reason i have doubts this is a good idea for a ‘rooftop’ solution for your home, the panel itself may not melt, but lets say in autumn leaves fall around the device and catch fire..

    I’d rather then have a less efficient but safer (?) product.

  • Ray NL

    For some reason i have doubts this is a good idea for a ‘rooftop’ solution for your home, the panel itself may not melt, but lets say in autumn leaves fall around the device and catch fire..

    I’d rather then have a less efficient but safer (?) product.

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