And it will fit in the trunk of your flying car

IndustryWeek : New Low Cost Solar Panels Ready for Mass Production:

Sampath has developed a continuous, automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. Because the process produces high efficiency devices (ranging from 11% to 13%) at a very high rate and yield, it can be done much more cheaply than with existing technologies. The cost to the consumer could be as low as $2 per watt, about half the current cost of solar panels.

The back of the envelope says we get 4000 hours of sun a year, so halve that for angle considerations and halve it again for weather, and you get about $2 per thousand watt-hours installed. Or 20 cents a kilowatt hour for a 10-year life. With a little optics and good weather, you could do rather better than that. In the usual parts of the country, utilities should be paying people to install these things on their roofs, since peaking power costs on the order of a buck a kilowatt-hour…


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