Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Solar Power at Half the Cost

Soliant Energy, Inc. has developed a solar panel system using a simple concentrator to increase the amount of light hitting the solar panel. This is said to increase the efficiency of the overall system.

The innovation here is called the 'heliotube.' It's a tube of glass that concentrates the sun's rays onto a very thin strip of silicon solar panels at the base of the tube. The tube is then connected to a frame in blocks, and the frame uses the power coming off the panel to tilt the tubes to track the sun. These panels use 88% less photovoltaic material, but are almost as efficient per square foot as traditional solar panels.

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