June 25, 2006

other tech: more on solar energy

Daystar has reached some new milestones Recent results from tests conducted in DayStar's laboratory have shown solar cells produced from its Gen I line achieved 16.9 percent total area conversion efficiencies on (1.1 cm2) glass substrates and 15.7 percent on flexible metal substrates. Similar size TerraFoil(TM) cells made on their commercial-scale Gen II platform have achieved 13 percent efficiencies. The most significant achievement was the demonstration of a 13.5 percent efficiency from a larger area device (14 cm2) produced using processes being developed for their high-capacity Gen III(TM) production platform.

DayStar’s TerraFoil(TM) is a combination of Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS) technology solar cells placed on flexible 1-5 mil stainless steel foil.

They plan reach 20 MW of production by the end of 2007.
They want to get to capacity at their New York manufacturing facility with 100 MW of production capacity. Their goal is to establish a profitable manufacturing platform by 2008, expandable to Gigawatt (GW) scale.

Panels are rated under sunlight of 1000 W/m^2. A kilowatt panel thus is one square meter divided by the efficiency of the solar panel (typically 0.13). Thus a square meter panel is typically rated at 130 Watts 'peak' power.

100 MW would be the 'peak' power output of all the solar panels produced by the factory for a year. Given a capacity factor of 0.2 those solar panels would produce roughly 175,000 MWh of power in a year.

An average typical home in the USA uses 10,000 kwh per year. An electric economy style car in typical use (about 50 miles of driving per day) would use around 4000 kwh per year.


Related articles:
Prior article on competing solar firm, nanosolar

Solar energy survey and prior info on Daystar

the Energy blog's summary of a solar industry forecast A couple of the items, Solar Production will reach at least 10 GW/yr by 2010 (530% growth versus 2005). In the middle of the supply chain, Evergreen, Motech, Q-Cells, REC, Sharp, SolarWorld, SunPower and Suntech appear likely to achieve explosive growth.

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