[clug] OT: Solar power recommendations and advice

Alastair D'Silva alastair at newmillennium.net.au
Tue Apr 20 15:58:22 MDT 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-bounces at lists.samba.org [mailto:linux-
> bounces at lists.samba.org] On Behalf Of Felix Karpfen
> Sent: Wednesday, 21 April 2010 7:21 AM
> To: linux at lists.samba.org
> Subject: Re: [clug] OT: Solar power recommendations and advice
> My other complaint against solar-cell electricity (not previously
> voiced)
> is that it is stunningly inefficient.  I am advised that the
> theoretical
> maximum conversion of solar power to electricity is about 33%.  The
> (1st
> generation) cells currently marketed in Australia (based on silicon)
> achieve conversions of 12-13% max. 2nd generation cells (currently
> marketed in the US) achieve an 18%+ conversion; 3rd generation cells
> can
> be found in laboratories at the ANU; I know nothing of their
> capabilities.

I'm not sure how this is relevant in a home scenario - sure, efficiency
(both in power/area & power/weight) is important for solar powered EVs &
satellites, but at home, unless you have already maxed out your roof area,
it is less important.

Until you reach a point where all usable is utilised, I suggest that the
most important metric is power/cost, which at the moment pushes you towards
the lower efficiency thin film solutions. Thin film solutions do have other
benefits though, some forms are translucent, so we are planning on using
these as a a roofing material over the living areas when we rebuild, filling
it with light during the day while providing usable power.

As an aside, consider the efficiency of taking sunlight, growing plants,
burying them for a few million years and then burning them :)

Alastair D'Silva           mob: 0423 762 819
Networking Consultant
New Millennium Networking  web: http://www.newmillennium.net.au
twitter: evildeece   msn: alastair at d-silva.org
blog: http://alastair.d-silva.org

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