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Heat your water, generate electricity, one panel.

At the ASES Solar 2008 conference we saw some great technology improvements and creative out of the box thinking in the solar industry itself. One technology that stood out was a solar PV panel with the ability to heat water. One panel does the jobs of two different technologies (Solar PV & Solar Thermal) The great part of the new solar energy collector is not only to heats water and produces electricity with less surface area, but the water within the panel water cools the PV Panel before the water is heated and used for hot water. According to the company there is a 10% gain in efficiency of the PV Panel. The industry seems like to get much more innovative. According to representatives at the booth the founder of the company used to work for Intel and understands how to cool silicon since heating of silicon was a common problem in the computer processor industry. The solar energy collector snaps on top most solar pv...

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Nanosolar to serve residential solar market in soon?

Many residential consumers were disappointed this month when they found out Nanosolar is not offering panels to residential homeowners or even businesses. Nanosolar is exclusively dealing with large utilities according to the Nanosolar offical blog. It was not until a flood of emails sent to the CEO of Nanosolar by angry consumers that the CEO address the commented and stated serving the residential market is in their “near term” roadmap. There was no expected date in which Nanosolar would offer $1/watt thin film solar panels to the residential market. I feel as the company’s manufacturing capacity goes up and the have an abundance of product they will start to offer the residential market with cheap solar panels. The first Nanosolar customer was a German utility company that used the thin film solar panels for a large solar array deployment, municipal power plant. So my expectations is Nanosolar will offer cheaper solar panels in a couple years, because it seems like up until now their supply is dedicated to large customers who want to put up municipal power...

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Don’t Expect $1/watt solar power for your home anytime soon.

There has been so much buzz in the market about Nanosolar’s /Watt that I decided to touch up on this subject. I have actually spoken to residential consumers who have read the press about Nanosolar goal to deliver solar modules at /Watt (which is competitive to coal). When people ask me what I think about Nanosolar, I feel they are a great company, with a strong management team, and will be able to deliver on their promises, but everyone will not benefit from Nanosolar’s technology, especially homeowners. Nanosolar maybe able to offer very cheap thin film to the market but the only ones who will be able to benefit from the solar panels will be commercial enterprises who have A LOT of surface area to make up for the low efficiency put out by the Nanosolar panels. Residential home owners will not benefit from this because they just don’t have the roof space for Nanosolar’s solar panels to produce the energy they need. A residential home owner needs to shop for high efficiency solar panels that will produce the MOST energy per square feet versus the cheapest solution. Lower Cost per Watt = Lower Efficiency = More surface are you need. If you’re a homeowner, don’t dream about buying Nanosolar $1/Watt solar panels at Wal-Mart and hope to eliminate your entire bill, because it’s just not...

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