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Power Technology

Berkeley Lab Develops Technology To Make Photovoltaics Out of Any Semiconductor 55

First time accepted submitter bigvibes writes "A technology that would enable low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. This technology allows for plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors, such as metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides that had previously been considered unsuitable for solar cells because of the difficulty in tailoring their properties by chemical means."
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Berkeley Lab Develops Technology To Make Photovoltaics Out of Any Semiconductor

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  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:30PM (#40810007)
    The issue was always a low output but if you can make them dirt cheap who cares if they are 5%? If you can cheaply replace the shingles on your house with cheap solar cells I'd call it a win even if you have to cover the whole roof instead of one part. Cheap and practical will always win over efficient and expensive. Even when over the long term you are better off with the more efficient cells people will actually buy the cheaper ones. It's what keeps Ikea and stores like it in business. Pressboard furniture falls apart after a couple of years but it's less than half the price of decent furniture. A good piece may last 50 years and out live 10 cheapie pieces so the cheap furniture costs 5X as much in the long run but people still go for cheap. If people could cover their roofs for $2,500 to $5,000 instead of $15,000 to $35,000 most roofs would have solar cells even if they last half as long.
  • Re:*yawn* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday July 30, 2012 @02:15AM (#40814907)
    So why are you reading slashdot instead of the Home Depot circular ad in the Sunday newspaper? It seems to meet your needs perfectly.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!