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Tuckerfan
2005-Mar-01, 02:37 AM
Interesting, if true. (http://www.hindu.com/seta/2005/02/03/stories/2005020300431600.htm)
A Palo Alto (California ) start-up, named Nanosolar Inc., founded in 2002, claims that it has developed a commercial scale technology that can deliver solar electricity at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Molecular self-assembly

The breakthrough has come through the application of nanotechnology to create components via molecular self-assembly, including quantum dots (10nm large nanoparticles) as well as nanotemplates with structural order extending through all three dimensions.

In addition, Nanosolar has demonstrated that the three dimensionally engineered nanotemplates can be conformally coated or solidly filled with semiconductor paint to create ultra-thin solar cells with layers that are yet another factor 100x thinner than conventional thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells.

The company's website is here. (http://www.nanosolar.com/index.html)

Sever
2005-Mar-01, 02:51 AM
You know, the last issue of Discover had a fellow calling for just this sort of thing...
(But if it works, its really great).

Tuckerfan
2005-Mar-01, 02:55 AM
You know, the last issue of Discover had a fellow calling for just this sort of thing...
(But if it works, its really great).The guy who founded Idealabs was working on something that he hoped would equal this, but his invovled a parabolic reflector and a stirling engine.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-01, 03:50 AM
I can see it now --a TV commercial with the aptly named AC-DC singing "Solar Panels, done dirt cheap..."

Sammy
2005-Mar-01, 04:33 AM
I tend tp be a bit doubtful about stuff like this. I wonder how you would make connections to take off power at useful levels. Also, what would the ultimate application be? Big solar farms? Every home with a solar panel roof? Problems with the latter would be sufficient power production, and the usual issues re night and dark days. Needed backups would add a lot of cost/complexity.

kg034
2005-Mar-01, 09:49 AM
I tend tp be a bit doubtful about stuff like this. I wonder how you would make connections to take off power at useful levels. Also, what would the ultimate application be? Big solar farms? Every home with a solar panel roof? Problems with the latter would be sufficient power production, and the usual issues re night and dark days. Needed backups would add a lot of cost/complexity.

Hey, we got a lot of low-value real-estate on this planet....Sahara, Gobi, Saudi Arabia, the Australian Outback.....all we'd need, at current efficiencies of solar cells at 10%, is about half a percent of the total land area on this earth to produce all the worlds energy needs.
Calculation:
80900 TW reaching the Earth surface. Earth surface = 4*pi*Re^2 ~ 5.1*e8 km^2
flux: 1.58e-4 TW/km^2
Energy needs: 30 TW (twice today's energy needs)
Efficiency: 10%

Comes out to a land area of : 1.9e6 km^2. Sahara land area: 9e6 km^2. Hence, plenty of space for solar farms :)
How to store this amount of energy is a different problem altogether :). Some sort of advanced LiSPB batteries? You'd need ~ 10^11 tonnes of state of the art batteries to store Earth's yearly energy consumption. Hydrogen production? Storage?....Perhaps we'll have liquid H2 pipelines :))....