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Old 01-08-2007, 10:45 PM   #1
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Concentrating photovoltaics advancements ...

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Thursday, November 09, 2006
Cheap, Superefficient Solar
Solar-power modules that concentrate the power of the sun are becoming more viable.
By Kevin Bullis


"Technologies collectively known as concentrating photovoltaics are starting to enjoy their day in the sun, thanks to advances in solar cells, which absorb light and convert it into electricity, and the mirror- or lens-based concentrator systems that focus light on them. The technology could soon make solar power as cheap as electricity from the grid...."

http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/17774/

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Old 01-09-2007, 12:47 AM   #2
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Great stuff. Most people don't realize how exponentially solar energy will grow. Speaking of which, the company which makes solar panels for the Prius www.solatecllc.com, states that the panels are 'temporarily unavailable'.

I had a question on these panels, namely does anyone use these panels (or know of anyone using them), and why not put panels also on the hood, sides etc.?

What I'm waiting for is someone who strips a Prius, puts in bare essential lightweight components, solar cells, pedals so the passengers can generate some electricity, and a small pop-up windmill and some fold-out solar panels to charge the battery at standstill. Oh yes, and make it more aerodynamic, with covered wheels, replacing those ridiculous doorhandles with good old-fashioned aerodynamic Toyota doorhandles from the eighties and nineties.

Sure, there's also plug-in, and this can be combined with the above. But wouldn't it be neat, wouldn't it be great, wouldn't it be FANTASTIC to travel around the world with a Prius without refilling or recharging?!

The advantage of using a Prius over the solar cars used for solar racing is that the Prius is recognizable and meets road regulations. Sponsoring by one of the large photovoltaics producers, like Sharp?

I mean, there are people planning to circumnavigate the globe on solar energy: www.planetsolar.org. Driving around the globe by car without "refueling" is not a matter of if, but of when. So, who steps up to the plate, Steve Fossett, or anyone else?
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:00 PM   #3
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Lens concentrating solar collectors are nothing new at all, I have a few foot square flat lens's that were rejects from a compeny that is now gone, that sold PV systems with dime size PV collectors, and had a lens that focuesed light like you do when burning ants with a magnifying glass, the foot square lens alowed that dime sized PV collector to put out the same power as one that is a sqaure foot in size, altho it had to be made with higher temp solder, and have a heat sink to disperse the heat, as the hotter a PV gets, the less it produces, you can do this with any PV, altho it does void any warnety.
the ideal would be to have all your PV on the north side of your house, hanging vertical with water cooling, and have multiple mirrors reflecting light, need more electricity, you simply add another mirror
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Lens concentrating solar collectors are nothing new at all,
Even the article says that. The point of the article, however, was that some of the key engineering issues (which make it harder/costlier to develop these devices) are now being worked out. Don't know if that's true or not, but it is plausible, and that is what the article is claiming.

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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
and have a heat sink to disperse the heat, as the hotter a PV gets, the less it produces, you can do this with any PV, altho it does void any warnety.
the ideal would be to have all your PV on the north side of your house, hanging vertical with water cooling, and have multiple mirrors reflecting light, need more electricity, you simply add another mirror
Maybe. But IMHO the "ideal" is to combine this device with a heat generating solar device connected to that "big heat sink" you talked about. Then, you can use the same surface area (and the same "reflectors") to both generate electricity and heat (for example, to heat your hot water "for free").

IMHO combining the same optics to both generate useful electricity and useful heat would be well worth it in a home environment (where you have both needs for electricity and heat for hot water, home heating, etc). And I see no reason why the optics couldn't do duel duty on such matters, as you already mentioned you need a "heat sink" for the PVC cells, so why not dump the heat into somewhere useful (like your hot water tank), instead of just dumping it into the air?
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:24 AM   #5
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I was watching discovery channel a few weeks ago (big surprise there) and saw a show called something like "In the Year 2057" - they did a thing on photovoltaics - currently solar panels only use one type of light (UV?) but some scientists have developed photovoltaic liquids that use light across the entire visible spectrum - they're just having to iron out kinks like impurities.

Anyone else see it?

*EDIT*

The show is called "2057" the episode is "The World" and will air again 03/03 and 03/16 at 2PM.
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