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Getting Stronger Every Day

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Getting Stronger Every Day Reply with quote

I guess I think back to my high school physics lab, circa 1976. One of my Physics Club projects was to make a solar cell from a kit. The kit was a silicon wafer with the necessary photovoltaic elements in a powder and I had to "bake on" the material in a kiln. Well, I've never been very adept at experimental science, and it was all kind of a mess. I probably should have had one of those jump suits that the Intel technicians wear. However, I was able to produce a working solar cell that registered on the meter...and that was pretty cool.

I think back then the average cell was something like 6 percent efficient and that there was "wild talk" about getting up to 10 percent...woo hoo!

Now I read that:

"Kyocera today said that it has achieved a new world record of 18.5% energy conversion efficiency with a 15 cm x 15 cm (5.9" x 5.9") multi-crystalline silicon solar cell. According to the company, the new results exceeds prior records, which were set by the company, including 14.5% in 1989, 17.1% in 1996, and 17.7% in 2004."

http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/10/16/solar_cells/

They talk about early adopters. I guess I've often been that...you know the problem is that an early adopter can sometimes be "imprinted" with outdated ideas! I mean, in my mind, before I read this article, I was probably thinking that solar cells were still around 12 percent effiicient at best -- and now we're looking at approaching 20!

Wow.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did I say 20?

How about 22. available right now from Solar Power:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/10/sunpowers_new_s.php
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