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

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  •  This post makes my head hurt. (0+ / 0-)
    Some materials actually increase in efficiency as they heat
    What kind of solar panels do that?
    Also the lens alone can track the Sun, leaving the heavier PV componets stationary
    What kind of fresnel lens can do that?
    I can already buy a 40% efficient concentrating tracker system for about $1
    Where can you buy that?
    However, if this tech can indeed give even 15% additional efficiency to high efficiency PV
    Impossible without increasing the number of active layers or multiple exciton generation.
    we could be looking at something like 50% * 1.25 = 62.5%
    Where can you find these 50% efficient cells?  Last I checked the in-lab record was 43.5%.
    If combined heat and power can harvest the "waste heat" of PV to displace other energy inputs currently heating habitable spaces and potable water, we might get closer to 80%+ total efficiency, which would rival the Combined Cycle Gas Turbines in the mid 80%s that increasingly power cities and towns. Indeed thermocouples will probably pass 5% efficiency within a few years, possibly 10% eventually; added to a stack could give another 4-5%,
    The haphazard mixing of thermal and electrical efficiency figures is making by head hurt.  Stick with electric, thermal is a whole different issue.
    Distributed solar has a 10-20% advantage over centralized electric generation's distribution grids,
    The US grid's total average loss is only 7.2%, and in general small scale systems have additional losses that large scale systems don't (although it depends on the specific tech in question).

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