The Future Of... Solar Cells

The Future Of... Solar Cells

Summary: High oil prices and the BP spill are just two real reminders of how energy dependent we truly are, but tomorrow's solar technology promises cleaner power at lower costs. ZDNet correspondent Sumi Das visits Stanford University where researchers have developed PETE, a new way to squeeze more energy from the sun.

TOPICS: Telcos

Topic: Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Tell me when . . .

    Tell me when it gets to 80% rather than 20%-30%.

    As usual, "The Future of . . ." just isn't worth watching.
    • RE: The Future Of... Solar Cells

      @CobraA1 A 50% jump in efficiency IS significant, provided that the costs don't grow too much. In any case, efficiency is not as important as the percentage of what is needed being provided. If your panel provides what you need to do what you want, then the amount "wasted" is really unimportant.

      The concepts of spraying on a surface to create a solar cell sounds good, provided it doesn't need to be refreshed too often. Under the right circumstances you
      really reduce the installation cost and the like, making
      adoption more likely and bringing down the costs of other
      alternatives which would adjust to compete.
    • RE: The Future Of... Solar Cells


      ...30% is 'respectable', as an internal combustion engine (gasoline) is about 35% efficient-- diesel about 52%.
  • Tons of energy?

    Since when did we start measuring energy in terms of mass?
    • RE: The Future Of... Solar Cells

      @dave_helmut <br><br>...since Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity, E=MC2<br><br><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><br></a></a>
  • Solar Power Windows and AstroTurf?

    If they could make solar power from windows panels with the transparency shown in the video that would help. And even solar panels made to look like AstroTurf could save us from watering, cutting, and fertilizing our lawns while providing energy.<br><br>The main point isn't that efficiency is the most important factor, there should be a focus on ROI. Solar panels that can pay for themselves in energy savings without tax subsidies are far more attractive.
  • RE: The Future Of... Solar Cells

    Can they make solar panels to withstand a Texas hailstorm. My home in Austin is on its fourh roof in 21 years. It's unusal to have a roof last more than 6-7 years, due to hailstorms. In March 2009 and March 2010 we had massive hail damage that destroyed cars and roofs. Every home in my neighboorhood got a new roof. Every single one.
  • RE: The Future Of... Solar Cells

    Electricity from solar cells requires wires to conduct it to where it is consumed. Connections going here and there, much like a network closet ...