Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Technology, from nanosolar to a huge Solar Collector

Thanks to aggressive government subsidies, Germany and Japan are currently the global leaders in solar production, with Japan's Sharp Electronics the world's biggest manufacturer of solar cells. But in September, Silicon Valley took a big step toward the industrialization of solar when Applied Materials launched an ambitious drive to repurpose some of the technologies it now uses to build machines that make silicon wafers and flat-panel video displays.

Nanosolar is big in Silicon Valley as "Lighting up the $1 trillion power market."

"Silicon Valley has changed the world once. Now, thanks to a wave of investment and innovation in solar power, it's on to the next revolution: a massive disruption of the U.S. electricity market."..."driving a sizzling $11 billion worldwide market in solar energy, part of a rapidly expanding alternative-energy economy that promises to shake up the way power is produced and consumed as profoundly as the region's computer and Internet companies upended global communications and commerce in the late 20th century." wrote Tom McNichol and Michael V. Copeland, Business 2.0 Magazine (October 30 2006)
Picture a 260-foot-diameter cylinder 1,600-foot tall (taller than the Sears Tower) encircled by a two-mile-diameter transparent canopy at ground level. About 8 feet tall at the perimeter, the solar collector will gradually slope up to a height of 50 to 60 feet at the tower's base.

Acting as a giant greenhouse, the solar collector will superheat the air with radiation from the sun. Hot air rises, naturally, and the tower will operate as a giant vacuum. As the air is sucked into the tower, it will produce wind to power an array of turbine generators clustered around the structure.

The result: enough clean, green electricity to power some 100,000 homes without producing a particle of pollution or a wisp of planet-warming gases.
wrote Todd Woody, Business 2.0 Magazine assistant managing editor (October 26 2006)

What is coming up next!?

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