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Energy Efficiency solar-markus941

Published on January 19th, 2009 | by Andrew Williams

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Solar Energy Breakthrough Could Cut Costs By More Than 50%

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January 19th, 2009 by  

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A US-based company has successfully tested a revolutionary solar panel that is expected to cut the costs of photovoltaic solar power generation by more than 50 per cent, and herald a new era of improved efficiency and lower production costs of solar energy globally.

The panel, known as the Alubond Solar Collector Panel (SCP), was created by American Building Technologies, a subsidiary of the UAE-based multinational group Mulk Holdings. Commenting on the breakthrough, a spokesman for Mulk said, “We hope the success of this project will lead to an upsurge in the development of more solar energy plants, which will not only lessen the strain on existing energy resources, but also severely reduce the pollution levels that are currently witnessed in power generation.”

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Conventional solar troughs used in solar generation are either embedded in heavy glass mirrors, weighing over 12.5 kg per sq m, or single-skin aluminium with a high-reflective laminated film, requiring heavy support structures and numerous riveting that reduces the efficiency of the troughs.

The spokesman said “Alubond SCP is a 3 mm composite weighing approximately 4 kg per sq m with a 92-per-cent reflectivity. The product’s ability to retain a parabolic shape to precise coordinates, and its lightweight features and innovative rivetless joining process, substantially reduces the substructure costs.”

The patented SCPs have already been chosen for a $200 million-plus solar energy generation plant project in New Mexico City. The company hopes that the second phase of the project, scheduled to go ‘live’ in December 2009, will have great implications for the Gulf region and Middle East energy requirements.

Image Credit – markus941 via flickr on a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



  • YJ Draiman

    Generating Energy Storage & A Combination Renewable Energy System

    “It is cheaper to save energy than make energy”

    Any renewable energy system that is installed should have extra capacity and be able to convert water into hydrogen which will be used to power a hydrogen generator as a back-up power source.

    We should install a renewable energy system that utilizes solar & wind, when possible add geothermal to the mix.

    A design is needed for a renewable energy system that can generate electricity and heat water with a step down mixer allowing the system to provide water hot enough for radiant heating and at the same time utilize a step down mixing valve to reduce the water temperature to be able its use for hot water in normal consumption.

    A thermal renewable energy system may be able to provide both.

    Prior to sizing up a renewable energy system, an energy audit should be conducted and energy efficiency recommendations should be implemented, that includes changing habits in utilizing energy and utilities in general.

    Habitual changes can save between 20 to 50% of energy & utility consumption.
    When people are considerate not to waste, they save resources and money.

    YJ Draiman, Energy/Utility Analyst

  • Pingback: High-Efficiency Solar Cells Getting More Efficient, Cheaper – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views

  • Rufo Diallou

    Pay attention someone. This is a low cost, very low optical performance reflector system. NOT a PV cell; the photo that ran with this story is irrelevant.

    Seems to be a low hurdle to be written about.

  • Pingback: Hot Hot Heat: U.S. Solar Costs Going Down : CleanTechnica

  • justwatching

    Been hearing about this for the last 40 years and so far all it does is get fools to invest. No product and no return on investment!!!!

    Energy is not free so buy some equipment that works and get to work. I did 20 years ago and I am still getting power.

  • justwatching

    Been hearing about this for the last 40 years and so far all it does is get fools to invest. No product and no return on investment!!!!

    Energy is not free so buy some equipment that works and get to work. I did 20 years ago and I am still getting power.

  • justwatching

    Been hearing about this for the last 40 years and so far all it does is get fools to invest. No product and no return on investment!!!!

    Energy is not free so buy some equipment that works and get to work. I did 20 years ago and I am still getting power.

  • Edward

    I agree with Noah. Like the computer industry, the costs of most modern technologies will decrease substantively over time.We just need to get the cycle going quick enough. It’s exciting what new things are coming out.

  • Edward

    I agree with Noah. Like the computer industry, the costs of most modern technologies will decrease substantively over time.We just need to get the cycle going quick enough. It’s exciting what new things are coming out.

  • Edward

    I agree with Noah. Like the computer industry, the costs of most modern technologies will decrease substantively over time.We just need to get the cycle going quick enough. It’s exciting what new things are coming out.

  • Noah

    Scott_T said it. We always here of new tech coming out for solar, but prices remain about the same. Though to be fair, a lot of stuff that research has produced has been in the last few years, and its going to take a while for it to go to production, and for that production to ramp up to meaningful numbers.

    I’d like to say in 10 years, solar panels will cost half of what they cost now…

  • Noah

    Scott_T said it. We always here of new tech coming out for solar, but prices remain about the same. Though to be fair, a lot of stuff that research has produced has been in the last few years, and its going to take a while for it to go to production, and for that production to ramp up to meaningful numbers.

    I’d like to say in 10 years, solar panels will cost half of what they cost now…

  • Noah

    Scott_T said it. We always here of new tech coming out for solar, but prices remain about the same. Though to be fair, a lot of stuff that research has produced has been in the last few years, and its going to take a while for it to go to production, and for that production to ramp up to meaningful numbers.

    I’d like to say in 10 years, solar panels will cost half of what they cost now…

  • Rufo Diallou

    Pay attention someone. This is a low cost, very low optical performance reflector system. NOT a PV cell; the photo that ran with this story is irrelevant.

    Seems to be a low hurdle to be written about.

  • http://www.andersbekekenblog.nl Erik van Erne, Milieunet Foundation

    That is good news. When they work together with the germens who set a new worldrecord in efficiency of solarcells they can create a super solar panel.

    World Record: 41.1% efficiency reached for multi-junction solar cells

    http://www.stichtingmilieunet.nl/andersbekekenblog/?p=6305

  • http://www.andersbekekenblog.nl Erik van Erne, Milieunet Found

    That is good news. When they work together with the germens who set a new worldrecord in efficiency of solarcells they can create a super solar panel.

    World Record: 41.1% efficiency reached for multi-junction solar cells

    http://www.stichtingmilieunet.nl/andersbekekenblog/?p=6305

  • Scott_T

    Wow, another cheap solar panel. Cant wait till someone starts selling them.

  • Scott_T

    Wow, another cheap solar panel. Cant wait till someone starts selling them.

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