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They are supposedly cutting cost of solar in half-again...


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http://gizmodo.com/a-new-adaptive-material-could-halve-the-cost-of-solar-p-1613204859

 

Solar power is one of the most reliable forms of renewable power—but it's still expensive. Now, a team has developed a smart, adaptive material that could slash the its cost in half.

Developed by start-up Glint Photonics, the new material has optical properties that can change to help it capture as much light as possible. Currently, large-scale solar plants have to use tracking technology to ensure that their cells maximize their exposure to sunlight; this new material changes its reflectivity in response to heat from concentrated light to capture light across a wide range of angles.

The new technology is a kind of coating for use in a solar cell which focuses light into a piece of glass. An array of thin lenses concentrate sunlight across a broad range of angles, before it's passed to a glass sheet, coated on both sides with reflective coating. The front coating, however, is made of the new material, and Technology Review explains how it works:

When a beam of concentrated light from the array of lenses hits the material, it heats up part of it, causing that part to stop being reflective, which in turn allows light to enter the glass sheet. The material remains reflective everywhere else, helping to trap that light inside the glass—and the light bounces around until it reaches the thin edge of the glass, where a small solar cell is mounted to generate electricity.

As the day wears on, the lenses throw the light—captured across a broad range of incident angles, remember—onto a different spot on the glass sheet, always allowing light in only where the beam of light falls. In turn, it reduces the need to keep the device pointed directly at the sun.Glint Photonics claims that the technology could produce solar power at a cost of four cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to eight cents per kilowatt-hour for normal solar panels.

The technology is still a proof of concept—its efficines still need to be upped, and the whole thing need to be scaled to work at commercial volumes—but it's a very promising development.

 

Every few months I keep reading articles like this, so you think by now it really would be cheap and efficient, but they never seem to deliver.

 

I'm not holding my breath any more.

 

I want to build off the grid entirely, so I keep hoping!

 

 

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lamoe

http://gizmodo.com/a-new-adaptive-material-could-halve-the-cost-of-solar-p-1613204859

 

Every few months I keep reading articles like this, so you think by now it really would be cheap and efficient, but they never seem to deliver.

 

I'm not holding my breath any more.

 

I want to build off the grid entirely, so I keep hoping!

 

 

These oh so promising developments are touted to insure energy independence s not achieved by "promising" cost reductions that for some reason don't work.

 

Sort of like the miracle drug to stop hair loss - turns out it causes you heart to stop also.

Edited by lamoe
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thebob

Solar cells aren't the problem, it's the cost of batteries. During the life of the cells you will have to replace the batteries several times.

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Solar cells aren't the problem, it's the cost of batteries. During the life of the cells you will have to replace the batteries several times.

 

Yes, and I keep hearing about battery breakthroughs too... still never seems to lower the cost :(

 

http://gizmodo.com/a-new-pure-lithium-battery-could-double-your-phones-lif-1611927004 

 

I know that's for phone batteries, but point is all these "it's going to be cheaper, better, and it isn't getting there very fast" I hope by time I build my house in 10 years they will have real systems that are actually affordable and can run the whole house. Every couple months they keep claiming they are having the price doubling the ability... but it never seems to ever really happen.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Do a bit of research and see how much the cost of PV Panels have come down since the late '70s to early '80s. We are talking about one hell of a drop, over the course of almost 40 years. I pay about $1.30 per watt, for PV modules currently. This is from a local company. If I had dealt with Yingli out of Singapore, I could save even more, I am sure. Trouble is, the ones at $1.30 per watt are in town when / if I need them. 

 

Batteries? Well, batteries are going to drop eventually. But, it will not be any fast experience. (I hope you aren't too old already, because it is still going to be a wait, for sure.)

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Solar cells aren't the problem, it's the cost of batteries. During the life of the cells you will have to replace the batteries several times.

 

You don't even need batteries if your utility provider offers net metering unless you just absolutely want off grid capabilities

 

With net metering the extra energy you produce is stored by the utility company for future use or they will pay you for it at the end of the cycle

 

Available in the US

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You don't even need batteries if your utility provider offers net metering unless you just absolutely want off grid capabilities

 

I would want a hybrid system, consisting of batteries as well. For me, it doesn't make sense just to pump power into the main grid. If the grid goes down, so does my solar array. So, panels on the roof or not, I am without power. Doesn't make sense to me. 

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broden

if i ever get to put one in like i want to here it has to be tied to the system which i don't like but then i will go get my own batteries so i can keep them charged also

 

then worst comes to worst all i should have to do is flip a switch

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then worst comes to worst all i should have to do is flip a switch

 

Don't even have to do that. You can have it set up where the grid (or solar) can charge your batteries. If the grid goes down, it automatically switches over and your home is running exclusively on solar. The inverter used would be a grid tied inverter-charger. 

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I would want a hybrid system, consisting of batteries as well.

 

I agree

 

Kansas is also offering a 30% rebate up to $3k for the installation and the utility company will finance the rest while guaranteeing not hike in your average utility bill with the loan included

 

But yes--- At the end of the day when it is all done and said--- I would be adding a couple of batteries into the system even if they never got used

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I would want a hybrid system, consisting of batteries as well. For me, it doesn't make sense just to pump power into the main grid. If the grid goes down, so does my solar array. So, panels on the roof or not, I am without power. Doesn't make sense to me. 

 

 

Ideally you need a system that can generate enough during the day to pay for day and night usage, And only use the batteries during brown outs ( they will last longer, maybe get a few extra years out of them ).

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TheMatrix

Due to costs, maintenance and safety of having a solar system with batteries, I decided against.  Sure, the batteries are great should you be off the grid, or there's an brown-out.  But if those are not issues, forget the batteries.  I have a 5Kw system on my home and I produce more electricity then I use in the summer, and about 25% in the winter.  I like getting those monthly credits.  With the new Sunnyboy invertor box, it has a power plug receptacle should their be a brown out, you can still plug in devices like your deep freezer which will run while the sun is out.

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Enuff

i have recently stumbled across a company in Liloan who is offering a complete installation & setup.

 

includes lights, panel, inverter, battery, wires & installation

 

all for the low price of p20k, not sure its a good deal but its a start. with everything I'm sure there's room for negotiation

 

 

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You don't even need batteries if your utility provider offers net metering unless you just absolutely want off grid capabilities

 

With net metering the extra energy you produce is stored by the utility company for future use or they will pay you for it at the end of the cycle

 

Available in the US

I don't know how it works in Cebu but in California there is no out of pocket expense and your electric bill goes down. There is currently government rebates as well. Not sure if that's the reason for no out of pocket fees. Does it work like that in Cebu or Cebu province?

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For an off-grid application, there are two things I learned some time ago. One is, the controller is the brains of the installation. The batteries, the heart. If you are going to buy quality up front, make sure they are where you spend the money. 

 

I don't know if the image of the controller is the actual controller they include with their package deal. If it is, the controller is junk. I know, because I ordered one just like it off eBay, last year. I ordered a couple of different ones made in China, to compare them with the American made controllers. There is no comparison. In fact, the Chinese made controllers are so sub standard, that they could actually ruin your batteries. By the way, I got two of them last year, for like $20 USD, shipped to me. That should tell you how much technology goes into their controllers. 

 

Midnite Solar is in the process of coming out with a new PWM controller called the "Brat". it is a 20 amp / 30 amp controller. It has an option of using the load side for up to 10 amperes. If you use the load side, it is limited to 20 amperes output to the batteries. It is for 12v or 24v systems. If it is ANYWHERE as reliable as the Kid controller, I would definitely go with it. The "Brat" will retail for something over $100 USD. Maybe up to 109 or 119. I am not sure as yet. But, I would put my money on it, against any Chinese made controller on the market. 

 

When planning an off-grid system, one thing not to do, is scrimp trying to save a dollar or two, where it counts. Spend the money - as you get what you pay for, in this industry. 

 

My advice as well, is to buy American or German made products and parts, when and where you can. 

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