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Solar now cheaper than *coal*?

  1. Nov 24, 2007 #1
    http://www.celsias.com/2007/11/23/nanosolars-breakthrough-technology-solar-now-cheaper-than-coal/ [Broken]

    So says this company. I'm skeptical though, I don't have a decent background in electrical engineering or...well...anything outside of astrophysics really to tell if its worth it. Seems very promising though.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2007 #2

    Chi Meson

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    When it sounds too good to be true...

    Applying nanoglobules to thin-film photovoltaics was the subject of a recent article in Physics Today. It was apparently a decent breakthrough in increasing absorptivity of photons and boosting power. As I recall, it boosted the power by 19%. These folks are claiming a lot bigger boost than that. I want it to be true, but is it?
  4. Nov 24, 2007 #3


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    About once every 6 months, a company claims to have invented plastic solar cells. There is an Israeli company that is also not manufacturing them quite yet. :rolleyes:

    Heck, even if they make the cells cheap, they still need gigantic, expensive inverters to make the power usable.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  5. Nov 24, 2007 #4


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    I wonder if the most efficent use is to have solar panels directly drive AC units on the same roof?
    The demand for AC increases with the amount of sun (at least for office/residential)
    You don't have to store / transmit the power.
    AC compressors can be made to run just as easily on low voltage DC as 110v AC.
  6. Nov 24, 2007 #5


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    It seems a little to good to be true. I'd be skeptical...
  7. Nov 24, 2007 #6
    I figured as much. Besides, isn't the main problem with solar just the storage part and not actually getting the energy in the first place?
  8. Nov 24, 2007 #7

    Chi Meson

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    That would be for "off the grid" houses who want to have night-time lights and television, etc. The batteries add a lot of cost and hassle. Intertying with the grid is a better way to go, since one would produce excess energy during the day (when the grid needs more), and your meter runs backward. Then you use grid energy at night, and your meter runs forward. No batteries required.
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