For traditional manufacturers of solar power plants it costs $1 billion to build a 400-megawatt facility. Nanosolar claims that they can do it for $100 million. Nanosolar have a roll-to-roll process. It is simpler and cheaper. There are three miles of solar cells on a single roll of polymer film. Nanosolar currently has a pilot manufacturing facility and will begin to produce solar cells on the upcoming factory in 2007. They use nanostructured components and molecular self assembly to create their solar cells They compare their Nanosolar Roll-Printed Thin Film against Vacuum-based Thin Film and silicon wafer technologies
A competing thin film solar company is Heliovolt. They are looking to deploy solar to homes instead of central plants Simple diagram of solar energy markets. Comparisons of the economics of Heliovolts technology with alternatives. (Heliovolt expects to get below key $1 per watt level.)
Better looking roof top solar panels
Quantum dots could create 65% efficient solar cells
Link to more technical details about quantum dots and solar cells
Solar power industry, $1/watt installed cost is economic tipping point. Get there or better and get explosive growth
Magnetically inflated cables could revolutionize space based solar power
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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