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Old 01-18-2008, 07:29 PM   #1
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New development in Solar Panels - could this finally be the big breakthrough?

Alberts said that the new panels are approximately 5 microns in thickness—a human hair is 20 microns thick—while the older silicone panels are 350 microns thick. Therefore, the cost of the panels is a mere fraction of the less efficient silicone panels. Alberts said that in Switzerland, new homes are already required to include solar technology to ease demands on energy from national power grids. "And that was the older, less effective technology," Alberts said. "With our hours of sunlight, we will on average generate twice as much energy than, for instance, European countries."

Other companies have developed technology to work in conjunction with the new South African solar panels. Companies are developing super-efficient storage batteries and special converters to change the energy into various power sources for different countries. One of the global leaders in solar energy solutions, IFE Solar Systems in Germany, has invested huge sums of money in the South African invention and plans to manufacture 500,000 of the panels before the end of the year. Production has already begun and the factory will run 24 hours a day, producing more than 1,000 panels a day to meet expected demand.
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:33 AM   #2
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Is this a credible report?

I ask simply because:

a. it seems too good to be true

b. the report says, " They are able to generate enough energy to run stoves, lights, televisions, refrigerators, and even computers" which, to me indicates a lack of knowledge as computers take just a fraction of the power a stove or refrigerator uses. Of course, the even computers bit may just be lack of knowledge on the part of the journalist.

I hope everything in the report is true though. If it is, these solar panels will be found on every cruising yacht in the near future.

Aye // Stephen

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Old 01-19-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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I'm skeptical. The Buzzle article stated that they intended to manufacture a half million panels by the end of 2006. Have we seen them on the market yet?
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #4
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here's a more current article (December, 2007) about these solar films being shipped by a US company:


Worth keeping an eye out for them.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:39 PM   #5
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This article from CNET news does a pretty good job of covering the situation. Sounds like the new "CIGS" technology has promise, but is not a clear winner over the tried and true silicon cell technology. At least not yet.

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