Defkalion is shutting down its forum. Defkalion claims that their next announcment in a few months (presumably with a press release and press conference) will be that of a successful and certified product.
Defkalion may or may not deliver in a few months or later this year or next. We will see.
A new approach was outlined in the theoretical works fulfilled in 1950–1951 by I.E. Tamm and A.D. Sakharov in the Soviet Union, which first discussed a tokamak-like approach. Experimental research on these designs began in 1956 at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow by a group of Soviet scientists led by Lev Artsimovich. The tokamak essentially combined a low-power pinch device with a low-power simple stellarator.
The group constructed the first tokamaks, the most successful being the T-3 and its larger version T-4. T-4 was tested in 1968 in Novosibirsk, producing the first quasistationary thermonuclear fusion reaction ever. The tokamak was dramatically more efficient than the other approaches of that era, on the order of 10 to 100 times. When they were first announced the international community was highly skeptical. However, a British team was invited to see T-3, and having measured it in depth they released their results that confirmed the Soviet claims.
A pamphlet from the 1970s printed by General Atomic stated that “Several commercial fusion reactors are expected to be online by the year 2000.”
Abound Solar, a Colorado startup that aimed to take on industry leader First Solar with a $400 million federal loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories, halts production and lays off 180 workers.
Abound, which has drawn down $70 million of the loan guarantee, said in a statement it would focus on developing a more efficient version of its cadmium telluride thin-film photovoltaic panel, putting on hold plans to build a new 781,000-square-foot factory in Tipton, Ind.
The solar panels developed by the company were claimed to be unlike any other product ever tried in the industry. The panels were made of racks of cylindrical tubes (also called tubular solar panels), as opposed to traditional flat panels. Solyndra rolled its copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin films into a cylindrical shape and placed 40 of them in each 1-meter-by-2-meter panel. The cylindrical solar panels can absorb energy from any direction (direct, indirect, and reflected light). Each Solyndra cylinder, one inch in diameter, is made up of two tubes.
When combined with a white roof (the fastest growing segment of the commercial roof industry with over 1 billion square feet installed in 2008 and required for any new commercial construction in California), the company claimed that systems that employ the panels on a given rooftop could produce significantly more electricity in a given year. With a white roof, the panels can capture up to 20% more light than with a black roof.
The company claimed the cells themselves convert 12 to 14 percent of sunlight into electricity, an efficiency better than competing CIGS thin-film technologies. However, these efficiencies are for the cells laid flat. The company did not post any numbers about performance when the cells are rolled up. The Solyndra 100/200 spec sheet doesn’t mention the cells or the panel efficiencies directly. However, calculating from the data provided shows the high-end 210 panel has a field efficiency of about 8.5%.
On March 20, 2009, the United States Department of Energy made a “conditional commitment” to a $535 million loan guarantee to support Solyndra’s construction of a commercial-scale manufacturing plant for its proprietary solar photovoltaic panels.
Solyndra also received a $25.1 million tax break from California’s Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority
Top 10 U.S. Venture-Backed Companies By Total Equity Raised (from Jun 2010)* Company Name Total Equity Raised* ($M) Status Industry Segment Clearwire $1,299.50 Close to Bankrupt Communications and Networking Solyndra $949.85 Bankrupt Renewable Energy Western Integrated Networks $889.00 Acquired/Merged Communications and Networking MetroPCS Communications $733.10 Publicly-held Communications and Networking Facebook $677.70 About to IPO Consumer Information Services Reliant Pharmaceuticals $574.10 Acquired/Merged Biopharmaceuticals WildBlue Communications $557.99 Acquired/Merged Communications and Networking Force10 Networks $553.42 Bought by Dell Communications and Networking Better Place $550.00 Private Renewable Energy Grande Communications Networks $507.40 Acquired/Merged Communications and Networking
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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