Sunday, December 6, 2009

Solar Cell Technology Sees the Light

Seems that solar cells aren't just for baking potatoes any longer.   For years there has been an ever increasing promise of capturing energy from the sun in a manner that would rival other power generation methods.

 Solar cell breaks efficiency record

From the article

Boeing-Spectrolab has developed a solar cell that can convert almost 41 percent of the sunlight that strikes it into electricity, the latest step in trying to drop the cost of solar power.

It was big news when 20% efficiency in Solar Cells was announced. 

Traditional Power Generation turbines are about 50% efficient. 

Coal-fueled electrical generating plants top out at about 46%. 

Gasoline automobile engines run @ 25% efficiency.

More from the article
Currently, the best commercial silicon solar cells can convert 22 percent of the sunlight that hits them into electricity, and physics dictates that maximum efficiency for these cells will come at around 26 percent.

Makes me wonder if I can go off the grid anytime soon.

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