Photos: The many faces of solar power

Photos: The many faces of solar power

Summary: Solar companies are using a range of techniques to cut the cost of PV cells and make solar electricity more cost-competitive.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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  • awning

    Like other solar companies, Konarka envisions flexible solar material that can be used widely, such as attached to an outdoor awning to generate electricity. The company is developing portable, electricity-generating buildings for the Army.

  • Sunflower

    Energy Innovations, an Idealab company, is developing solar "concentrators" that use mirrors and lenses to intensify the light and generate more electricity from solar panels. The company's Sunflower product is designed specifically for flat-roof buildings such as warehouses and large stores.

  • concentrator

    A design of Energy Innovation's concentrator shows how light reflects from mirrors close to the ground and shines on a silicon solar cell above, which is cooled by fans. The design concentrates the light 25 times, cutting down on the amount of expensive silicon needed. The mirrors move to follow the sun.

Topic: Hardware

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