Monday, November 26, 2007

Solar concentrators

Interesting new company working on solar concentrating PV. Basically a Fresnel lens (like in a lighthouse light) focuses the sunlight into an intense beam on a small PV cell. The PV cell is specially tuned for this high energy beam. The result is less silicon needed, which drives the currently high costs in PV modules. Of course, the concentrators might add some cost, too. This company is making the concentrators "track" the sun, too, which could add performance.

Seems promising, but far from market. Worse is the aesthetics. 1000 mirrors on your roof anyone? The nice thing about solar PV (like SANYO, SunPower) is that the panels look almost flat in color (blue/black). The result is that they blend in.

Mirrors? not so much. Ok, so what about commericial systems? Yes, that would be more appropriate...

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