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All the buzz about thin film solar panels

It’s the word on the street, Thin Film Solar Panels, what are they? And why are so many people talking about thin film technology? Similar to how computers and cell phones became slimmer and more efficient as the technology evolved, the same thing is happening in the solar power industry. Solar Panels are becoming thinner but no necessarily more efficient, thin film solar cells are bringing the cost down for industrial electricity producers and large commercial entities although not for the residential or small business owner. Thin Film Solar Panels are typically less efficient or just as efficient as traditional silicon based solar panels, although they thin film panels are made up of other elements that can turn the sun’s rays into electricity besides silicon. As you may know one of the primary reasons solar panels have a high price tag is because there is a shortage of silicon since there is such a high demand for the substance. Although more silicon refineries are coming online, next year, this has not stopped the thin film solar manufacturers to continue to innovate in their space to use other elements which have the potential to be very efficient in the near future. Thin Film solar cells are more flexible and are not made out of glass therefore are virtually unbreakable…which make the technology very resilient. Thin film solar panels have a lot of potential in terms of bringing down the cost per watt for solar power systems, therefore much investment and talent is focusing on this sector of solar power because they see it as the future. Right now the market has limited thin film products that people are using to power small appliances or use thin film solar panels for small solar power system installations. People who have a lot of surface areas such as utility companies and big corporations can also take advantage of thin film technology. I agree with many industry people that thin film is the future of solar panels although I feel it is at least 5 years away until we see thin film solar panels that make financial sense out on the market for the general public to...

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How to charge your iPod outdoors or just without an outlet

When you enjoy your time outdoors, handlets and gadgets like iPod, iPhone, Blackberry or any other cell phone or music player may discharge and leave you frustrated. Sure, time alone may be what you need but sometimes it’s music and friend calls. Solar cells technology of today made it possible to charge your iPod, iPhone or any other small portable device using nothing but energy from the Sun. Bags with embedded solar panels can completely charge up your iPod using energy from the Sun in 4 hours. It is available online for just $220. In a year or two we definitely will have solar cells efficient and cheap enough to charge our laptops without even plugging them into outlets. Today we already have them but they are pretty expensive. How cool is...

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IBM – From Trash to Solar Power Gold

Big Blue, the king of manufacturing computer processors and cooling silicon based computer chips has turned a wasteful process into gold. As you may know that the semiconductor industry uses massive amounts of silicon, a critical element that a solar panel is made up of to turn sunlight into electricity. According to their press release, IBM estimates that approximately three million silicon wafers worldwide are scrapped each year by the semiconductor industry – representing a significant solar recycling opportunity: 3 million wafers: Stretch for 375 miles if placed end-to-end Cover 22.5 acres of area Weigh 187.5 tons Generate 13.5 megawatts of solar energy Produce 57 million kilowatt hours in solar panels (12-hour day x 365 days) Power 6,000 houses (9,500 kWh per year per house) One of the primary reasons the cost of solar panels are so high is scarcity of refined silicon. Since silicon is such a highly demanded substance, there is not enough refinery capacity to keep up with demand. IBM has developed a process to recuperate wasted silicon and turn them into solar cells! They’re turning trash into solar power, how innovative for a computer company. It seems like these days the most talented companies and minds in the business world are jumping into the solar power industry to propel the industry to new heights. Video: IBM Pioneers Process to Turn Waste into Solar...

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Apple considers solar power for it’s product line up.

Apple is a master of customer experience and design. The company is amazing because they have created a community of evangelist followers lining up to pay premiums for their products. When I think of Apple, I think of a company of the future, a leader in its domain. Recently the company has filed for a patent for implementing solar cells into their portable devices by integrating the solar cells behind touch sensitive displays. If Apple can pull off using solar cells effectively with small surface areas the concept has gigantic potential of extending battery life for laptops, iPods and iPhones. The most interesting concept within the patent application is the ability use the surface area behind LCD screens to capture the ambient light thats passes through. Apple is just investigating the potential of solar power into their products, although the company is known to innovate. If they can merge their products with solar power, the best outcome would be more of the mainstream public would get comfortable using solar power and then consider going solar for their home or business. Considering solar power, Apple is sticking to its value proposition, “Think...

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