Hugh Bollinger
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Here comes the Sun

On Abbey Road The Beatles sang: Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun and I say it's all right We should all be singing "it's all right" after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of transparent solar cells. If this new MIT technology proves amenable to industrial scale, we could see the entire surface area of a building's windows turn into solar power generators. The new solar material maintains its transparency at the same time it is producing electricity. This MIT technology alongside a second, new, solar material created by researchers at the Australian National University, reported by Riled Up here, finally present the opportunity to develop solar power at massive scales for homes, commercial buildings, and industrial uses. Two real "game changers" from these fine research centers. [caption id="attachment_3764" align="aligncenter" width="368" caption="MIT transparent solar cell source: MIT"][/caption] According to MIT, half to two-thirds of the cost of a standard, thin-film solar-power system comes from installation costs and up to half of that is the expense of the glass and structural parts. The transparent photovoltaic system developed by Vladimir Bulović and Richard Lunt of the MIT Electronics Research Laboratory, could eliminate many of those associated costs. The efficiency of the new transparent material still needs improving but this is more an issue of materials chemistry than the basic solar technology. The MIT researchers believe they will soon be able to produce their new glass with electric capacities similar to PV materials now used in existing home solar panels. Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun, as the Beatles song says! WHB
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