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Old 03-01-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
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New Caltech solar research: Silicon Wire Arrays

Hopefully this isn't off-topic, but I just read a blurb about new solar technology ("silicon wire arrays") that is pretty exciting:

Caltech Researchers Create Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells with Silicon Wire Arrays - Caltech
http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13325

The efficiency of this new system is loads better than existing solar cells, AND it sounds like it should be much cheaper than existing technology.

Alas, no ETA for when (if?) these might become mass-produced and available to the public.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:18 AM   #2
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Flexible solar cells that are less expensive than today's offerings. This is indeed very interesting and could very well change solar systems as we know them. I hope it is not too long to get to market.

Thanks for posting.

Brad
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:01 AM   #3
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I like the idea of flexibility. You could mount them along the curve of the roof-line of an Airstream making them more aerodynamic.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate View Post
I like the idea of flexibility. You could mount them along the curve of the roof-line of an Airstream making them more aerodynamic.
I wonder what the surface looks like. Maybe you could cover the whole trailer skin with them. Now we need a inexpensive light weight high capacity storage device for cloudy days.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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Not to be the wet blanket, but that was pretty much a promotion piece. They really don't tell us what the limitations are. Maybe this will turn out to be miracle technology that will change the world. On the other hand, it may turn out that this stuff only works at bizarre temperatures, is toxic/fattening/unwholesome- we just don't know.

Having said that, I like the idea of power panels that integrate with the curvature of the roof. I think the single thing which could be done that would bring them to the market faster than anything else would be for me to put out the money for a new solar system . I'm going to watch this, but I am not getting too excited just yet.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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The field of the Airstream roof is a gentle curve. If at all flexible, they should be able to conform to the roof line of even vintage/pre-wide bodied Airstreams.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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Yeah, looks like it's still in the pipe-dream stage, but all kinds of people are working on cheap, flexible solar, which is good news for us?!

Another article on UC Berkeley's silicon wire solar research: Trapping sunlight with silicon nanowires
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