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View Diary: Nearly triple efficiency and lower cost: thin-film solar cell breakthrough (281 comments)

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  •  Not sure if the cost of the "panel" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, enhydra lutris, walkshills

    per se is really limiting any more . .. ..

    still, organic solar cell could potentially be extremely cheap to manufacture--
    So even if the cost went to zero, there'd still be substantial other expenses - e.g., just getting your roof re-done with non-solar materials will set you back a pretty penny.  Those costs will still be there.  Plus, there's some re-wiring to be done, and if you want something really extravagant like an electrical storage system for those nights when the sun disappears . .. . .  well, I think you get the picture.
    •  Yes but (11+ / 0-)

      if regular roof shingles were actually mini solar cells, think of the amount of solar energy we could produce.

      Especially if you got a rebate equal to the difference in cost.

      We're going to need to get our roof redone soon, and I know it's going to be a major expense. If it could be redone for a bit more AND generate some electricity in the bargain, it might be worth it.

      This is where things will be going - it only makes sense. Every building has a roof of some kind, and they all can be made greener in some way.

      In some instances it might be an actual green roof, with vegetation. Or it might be a solar roof that generates electricity. At the very least it can be a reflective (not black) roof to help keep the cities from being big heat sinks.  

      If we provide incentives for people to do it, they will. Because at some point, EVERY building needs a new roof.

      •  Ten to twenty years ago somebody announced (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a solar voltaic roof tile, ready for production, but I haven't heard anything about it since.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:58:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're not trying very hard. Google "solar roof (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          shingles"....1,260,000 results, with images of said solar roof tiles/shingles and companies that sell them.

          •  No, I haven't been trying, because I am not (0+ / 0-)

            currently in the market. My point was that there hasn't been very much noise in the media about it, not enough to reach the average homeowner or other John Doe. If you have to actively seek information, then you only get the information if you are already aware of it.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:58:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Organic solar cells would not go on your roof (7+ / 0-)

      That's simply not their niche. Like you point out, even for silicon photovoltaics, packaging and installation and the required wiring and electronics is already more than half the cost of such a system, so the cost of the cells themselves is not very important. In addition, organic solar cells are not durable enough. A silicon-based PV (photovoltaic) system should last 25-30 years at least, something that organic PVs don't come close to.

      Instead, the most likely application for these cells is in things like paper or clothes. Imagine a paper-thin digital reader that that never needs to be recharged as long as you expose it to ambient light for a couple of hours a day. Or a paper-thin cellphone that runs off the light around you. Or a cell-phone that is built into your clothes, where your entire body acts as a light collector that powers the phone.

      It's these kinds of applications that organic photovoltaics might be good for. They are not going to replace silicon for  power generation, that's not in the cards.

      "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw

      by Drobin on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:47:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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