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View Diary: MIT announces a new kind of transparent flexible solar cell made from graphene sheets with nanowires (139 comments)

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  •  The article contains this about the delays (10+ / 0-)

    expected in commercialization, which often take longer than people expect, whether they occur at MIT, or elsewhere.

    I believe I made it clear in my report that this is a report of breakthrough research, the commercialization of which is still many years away.

    As you probably know, over this past few weeks I posted several articles on current day solar applications, including one survey of solar arrays installed on Kohl's department stores, and fulfillment centers, the Nascar Stadium, and numerous universities. And, another on the 80% reduction in cost of solar panels in the last 5 years, and another on Robert Kennedy Jr.s call to put solar cells on every rooftop and streamline regulation.    

    Gradečak cautions that while the scalability for solar cells hasn’t been demonstrated yet — she and her colleagues have only made proof-of-concept devices a half-inch in size — she doesn’t foresee any obstacles to making larger sizes. “I believe within a couple of years we could see [commercial] devices” based on this technology, she says.

    László Forró, a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, who was not associated with this research, says that the idea of using graphene as a transparent electrode was “in the air already,” but had not actually been realized.

    “In my opinion this work is a real breakthrough,” Forró says. “Excellent work in every respect.”

    He cautions that “the road is still long to get into real applications, there are many problems to be solved,” but adds that “the quality of the research team around this project … guarantees the success.”

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:49:31 PM PST

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    •  A general frustration ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, corvo, pgm 01, ZenManProject

      when the 'press reports' end up spinning into 100s of highly enthusiastic comments, with too many unable to differentiate between the lab press release and what might actually have an impact on / in the real world.

      Yes, I am aware (and often rec / otherwise) of your posts / work to highlight the real gains / opportunities of solar power systems in the real world.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 05:43:24 PM PST

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      •  I think I understand some parts of your concerns, (11+ / 0-)

        and we've talked about this before.  

        But, perhaps, you don't give our readers enough credit for being able to differentiate the different stages of scientific discovery.  This article clearly notes this is proof-of-concept stage research, and doesn't seem that difficult to notice which applications are here today working in the market at affordable prices, that state of the art inventions reported from universities, in obscure research journals will take some time to develop.

        Yesterday, I reported invention of new "neuristors" developed that mimmic the behavior of neurons, as well as a new way of printing 3-D layers of brain cells in a petri dish, with amazement that such things are even possible, but not even trying to estimate when, if ever, we might see practical applications.  I don't think anyone was confused about it.  

        I well know the frustration of reporting important developments in today's world that hardly get sufficient attention.

        But, I don't see readers interest measured in recs, or enthusiastic comments as votes on which topics they think are most important, relevant, likely to provide immediate return on investment, or a lot of other of these kinds of inferences others might have for different purposes.  

        But, there are a lot of other reasons why folks might rec an optimistic article about the future, or wildly gorgeous space photos, or even "pootie and woozle" posts.

        Sometimes, particularly on Friday night, those not out on the town, may feel like community building, or just hanging out, and it is safer than anything about current day development which can contain so many latent land mine controversies many are cautious to rec or tip because they might accidentally get involved in numerous invisible undercurrents.

        A few hours ago, I posted speculation about the meeting President Obama had with congressional leaders which received only a fraction of the recs I received here, even though it was a more urgent and potentially more important topic, and there were hundreds if not a thousand more people reading in the late afternoon than now.

        But, many hesitate to rec even such apparently such innocuous articles, because of concern they might accidentally be offending someone, or aligning themselves with those who think our President, our leadership, the Democratic Party, or someone else is either being too compliant, too aggressive, or not like Goldilocks "just the right amount."

        A post like this is safer.

        Secondly, and more powerful for many is just that current day reports have a tendency to be depressing, and so much like the problems and challenges we face in our daily realities, hearing about hopeful, or exciting developments from science can be uplifting, and hopeful, and make us feel better despite how far off they may be.

        One of my young, very close loved ones, broke his back and lost feeling in the middle third of his body. Several others face the possibility of degenerative brain diseases, and find hope in reading realistic articles about stem cell research on spinal and brain nerve cells, even if practical application may be far off into the future, it helps keep hope alive.

        When folks like this find one article out of the hundreds of others in a day, that is either hopeful, or inspiring about black holes, or gorgeous space shots and they rec it, I don't interpret that to mean  they feel it is more important than the hundreds of others on the controversies of the day.

        Perhaps, also, some are just trying to cheer me up, after watching me write anywhere from 2 to 5 earlier posts on more serious or urgent issues, which often get little response.

        As, a humorous, but illustrative aside, on Christmas Eve  I spent about 30 minutes writing up a quickie post about the First Dog stealing the show from the First Lady at a reading of the Night Before Christmas that received over 200 recs almost immediately, even from Meteor Blades.  Even though I was pleased, I had a brief transitory flash of a feeling similar to what you seem to be expressing, remembering some of the several hundred posts of insightful economic, strategy, and systemic analysis I've done building on 30 years of accumulated knowledge of the fields which sometimes don't even receive 10 recs after spending hours on them.

        This kind of thing used to bother me more, but now, I find it more amusing, ironic, than poignant.  

        Whatever the reasons, I enjoy writing the "Now for Something Completely Different" type posts on science, technology, space, astro-physics, comedy, entertainment, slow motion videos of clouds and season changes, electron micro-graph photos  of viruses, or cells, etc. so yesterday, set up a new group to create a place for them.

        But, I long ago gave up using rec counts as representative of what readers find to be important -- especially on Friday nights when many are looking for something completely different as escape from a depressing reality.


        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:47:07 PM PST

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      •  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a (0+ / 0-)

        single step.  So they say.....

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

        by helpImdrowning on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:27:08 PM PST

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        •  Along the same line; from a tiny acorn grows (0+ / 0-)

          the mighty oak.  I for one, am just as interested in the acorn as I am in the mighty oak so thanks for these diaries and I look forward to more.

          The journey can be just as compelling, if not more so, than the destination.  Peace and best wishes.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

          by helpImdrowning on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:37:22 PM PST

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