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Power Hardware

Next-Gen Glitter-Sized Photovoltaic Cells Unveiled 155

MikeChino writes "Sandia National Laboratories recently announced a new breed of glitter-sized solar cells made from crystalline silicon that use 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity as standard solar cells made from 6-inch square solar wafers. Perfect for soaking up the sun’s rays on unusual shapes and surfaces, the tiny solar cells are expected to be less expensive, more efficient, and have promising new applications in textiles, clothing, and building facade installations."
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Next-Gen Glitter-Sized Photovoltaic Cells Unveiled

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  • Wiring them up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @09:22AM (#30543316)
    Hmm, I guess it is good news for China, since hundreds of millions of girls will need to be employed to wire these things up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @09:27AM (#30543348)

    There is a reason for this. Up until about the past 5 years there has been minimal manufacturing capacity globally. Everything was limited to laboratory experiments at universities or venture capital companies that like press releases. Now that we actually have companies making cells in volume the $/Watt has been driven down immensely. Take a look at first solar currently running somewhere near $0.90/Watt (solar cell production not end cost to consumer)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 24, 2009 @09:38AM (#30543396)

    American *foot*ball is called football because it is played on foot, as opposed to horse or motorcycle.

    European *foot*ball is called football because the ball is moved up and down the field with one's foot.

    Scoring in either game can be done by foot.

    This is why I prefer my terms:
    Hand-egg: In American Hand-egg, the majority of the time one is playing, one is holding an egg shaped object.

    No-Hands-Ball: In European No-Hands-Ball, for the majority of the game, you can pretty much make contact with the ball using any part of you that doesn't have fingers. I.e. hands.

    It clears up the confusion quite nicely.

  • PR BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @09:40AM (#30543402) Journal

    One hundred times less material? More efficient? Glitter?

    Sounds suspiciously like sound bites designed by a PR office for pickup by the press. I thought that Slashdot editors saw through that sort of malarky.

    I'm going to go out on a limb: does anyone know if the limiting factor in determining the costs of a solar cell is the amount of material used? I had thought it was the intensive processing required to create a solar cell, rather than the cost of the silicon, which, thanks to the gargantuan and heroic efforts of integrated circuit manufacturers, is vanishingly small for incredibly high quality (what other industry delivers seven 9s purity?). If the amount of material isn't relevant, then reducing it by a factor of 100 isn't that interesting, is it?

  • Re:When can I buy it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dlt074 ( 548126 ) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @11:50AM (#30544348)

    at the risk of yet another -Troll mod from the socialist whack-jobs running around here.

    which ever technology makes the most profit and has the best ROI is the one any real free market company will use. it's only when you get government involved and disturbing the free market that you have issues with political moves and motivations. such as shelving something to make a point.

    i'd be more concerned about the EPA coming in and saying that we can't manufacture this product on US soil because the process of making this eco friendly technology is too destructive to mother earth. again having to outsource more "green jobs" because of an unelected out of control government bureaucracy.

    the environmentalists in the US are all for alternative technologies, as long as they get manufactured in someone else's back yard.

  • Great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday December 24, 2009 @12:15PM (#30544566) Journal
    Now, sell the rights to an American company and require that the work be done in America. It is frustrating that America does all this RD, and then sends it to places that will not even respect the patents.

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