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New thin film solar technology

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Posted by anthony.dunk on July 25, 2006, 3:00 am
A new thin film technology has been developed by Professor Vivian
Alberts of University of Johannesburg which will be able to provide
solar electricity at one quarter of the cost of silicon panels.


This seems like just the invention the world needs now! At these prices
solar will suddenly become a whole lot more economic.


Posted by Solar Flare on July 25, 2006, 3:12 am
In other words "I have a dream and want some money"

Here is a quote from their article
  "who is sitting on potentially one of the biggest solar energy
breakthroughs "

"sitting on" = not there yet

"potentially" = could be, may be, possibly

"one of" = maybe not this one, as soon as somebody else does it.

"one of the biggest" = not the biggest, close to it or maybe
background even.

Send five dollars to the enclosed address and I'll send you ten
dollars when the product releases. This will be in addition to the ten
I will send you when the spray on PV spray for tee-shirts is released

Posted by anthony.dunk on July 25, 2006, 3:28 am
Are you just being this cynical because he's from South Africa or do
you have better grounds ?


Posted by Eric Sears on July 25, 2006, 4:42 am
 On 24 Jul 2006 20:28:42 -0700, anthony.dunk@gmail.com wrote:

Well Solar Flare said nothing about South Africa - but he did post
three or four quotes from the article referred to, which are strong
grounds (IMO) for having serious doubts about the "breakthrough" that
is mentioned.
But there are also plenty of others
1. The cells in question - with copper, indium, gallium, selenium etc
are hardly something new. Research on these has not only taken place
for some years - but I think they are available to buy from other
sources. I have a book from the 1970's (Farrington-Daniels) that
mentions such cells.
2. What is the availability of elements such as indium, gallium or
even selenium? At least some of these are quite rare - and much less
common that silicon as a starting material.
3. What is the lifetime of these cells? Most "deposited" types of
cells at this time generally do not have the life expectancy of
crystalline or polycrystalline cells.
4. There is a reference to "vapour phase deposition" - but that's
exactly how we make amorphous silicon cells now. It hasn't brought the
price down significantly - despite such promises in the 1980's when I
wrote to a professor at Edinburgh University to get further details
following exactly the kind of article to we see here.

In a nutshell - there is simply nothing new here that I can see.
When the panels are available on the shelf at even half the $/watt, I
shall say "well done". Until then I shall keep my cheque book well

Eric Sears.

Posted by Anthony Matonak on July 25, 2006, 4:53 am
 anthony.dunk@gmail.com wrote:

First, the article reads "Popular Mechanics, Tue, 25 Oct 2005"
so it's not exactly breaking news. In fact, this has been posted
twice before in this very newsgroup under the topics...

"SA solar research eclipses rest of the world" Feb 23, 2006
"SA breakthrough???" Feb 26,2006

We're cynical about announcements from companies looking for
investment capital because they seldom bear any relation to
the truth.

For instance, where are TI's spheral cells now?
Will they really sell for $.50 a watt as originally claimed?

TI put out similar press releases in 1991 when they were looking
for new funding and they eventually sold the technology to Automation
Tooling Systems (ATS). From all reports, TI was working on it for a
decade before that. It's 2006. 15 years later and still nothing.

What does ATS have to say about this? From this webpage...

: "We continue to be positive about the prospects for SSP technology,"
: said Mr. Jutras. "However, at present, we have been unable to resolve
: production issues that have impacted our plans to produce SSP products
: commercially.

You will forgive me if I don't hold my breath for another 15 years.


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