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OK, now things are starting to really roll (pun intended). A 1 GW production line (per year) for $1.65 million. Hummm, what would happen if we shifted Iraq war spending over to producing these lines? What would one day's worth buy us? Well, we are spending around $200 million a day (probably much higher if you take into account all the support needed when everything is over) or about 2 GW worth of production every year for every US state! Since those panels will produce for an average of 5 hours a day we get the nuclear power plant equivalent of around 24 nuclear power plants worth of production each year for every one day of spending in Iraq. So McCain’s plan of putting up 45 reactors (that will take 10 years to build at minimum) Can be substituted for solar production with around 2 days worth of Iraq war spending ($400 million). Those lines will produce 45 GWs worth of nuclear equivalent power every year! These line will be good for many years and will only get better over time. In ten years these lines will have produced 450 GW worth of nuclear energy production! All these panels quietly sitting in our deserts producing clean renewable energy.

I would rather spend less on solar and start getting energy production in a year then having to wait ten years for nuclear power generation that will only cost more as uranium (a non-renewable) gets more expensive every year. Hey McCain, Please wake up!

Will we do this? No, it makes too much sense to move in this direction. It looks like we will have to rely on venture capitalists and a tiny company to get us going. As our government is focused on silly useless strategies like more drilling, more resource wars, more nuclear and more hydrogen, solar will very slowly and quietly eventually solve the problem. The stupidity blows my mind. Not really, I know the geopolitical considerations are the reason.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9972306-54.html


Also from the company blog:

"Most production tools in the solar industry tend to have 10-30MW in annual production capacity. How is it possible to have a single tool with Gigawatt throughput?

This feat is fundamentally enabled through the proprietary nanoparticle ink we have invested so many years developing. It allows us to deliver efficient solar cells (presently up to more than 14%) that are simply printed.

Printing is a simple, fast, and robust coating process that in particular eliminates the need for expensive high-vacuum chambers and the kinds of high-vacuum based deposition techniques from industries where there’s a lot more $/sqm available for competitive manufacturing cost.

Our 1GW CIGS coater cost $1.65 million. At the 100 feet-per-minute speed shown in the video, that’s an astonishing two orders of magnitude more capital efficient than a high-vacuum process: a twenty times slower high-vacuum tool would have cost about ten times as much per tool.

Plus if we cared to run it even faster, we could. (The same coating technique works in principle for speeds up to 2000 feet-per-minute too. In fact, it turns out the faster we run, the better the coating!)"

http://www.nanosolar.com/blog3/
 

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Nice publicity and I truly hope it's true, but you still can't buy one and test it. The efficiency number is really important and they say that the best they've made is 14.5%. The best Si-based cells may be 20%, but at the panel level they are closer to 15%. I'll believe it when they start selling them and tests show that they can do what they claim for the price they are claiming. It's still essentially vapor ware. Panels are still $5/watt:

http://solarbuzz.com/

None of them are from nanosolar.
 

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Texas,

Glad you brought this development to our attention, but would rather not have wasted my time with your bleeding heart liberal diatribe about the Iraq War. You forgot to mention that 4 Western Oil companies - Shell, Exxon, BP and Total - have now signed contracts to purchase Iraqi oil, which is finally flowing again.

As impressive as it is that they can produce 1GW per year, I was even more impressed that their panel efficiencies are 14%, which does put them close to silicon panels installed today. They absolutely pursued the right target - cheap, fast and efficient enough, so that these panels will produce electricity as cheap or cheaper than coal.
 

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Here is the YouTube video showing the line in operation. I don't think it takes that much of a leap of faith to see that this is going to be very inexpensive when they work out all the kinks.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClLKVs9oSxE



Folks, this is not vaporware. The panels are functioning on the test site in Germany. They are completely sold out for over a year. The price is still high because the market is paying for it. Demand outstrips supply. Regardless, this technology is here. If we want help drive the cost down we need to help ramp up the supply. If course the market will do this but the speed will be slower. Anyway, I hope the governments of the world consider this technology before nuclear or other non-renewable "solutions".

Oh and that comment about bleeding hearts... Nice attempt to marginalize my post but I was simply showing the scale of what can be done. People think this is way too expensive. When I remind people that we spend over $200 million a day on the Iraq war or over $2 billion a day in oil imports I think that puts things in perspective quite nicely. I know the facts hurt sometimes but we need it. When reality bumps with beliefs the mind will try anything to justify the situation.
 

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Although I'd like to see more solar production, nuke plants don't necessarily burn through uranium. Breeder reactors exist too ya know.

I'd rather see solar go the more personal route rather than having huge farms set up. That way people get what they need and there's no need to pay anyone a fee for it.
 

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Pointing out how much Iraq is costing is not "bleeding heart liberalism," it's "facing facts."

And it has been such a grand investment. Because we invaded Iraq, Iraq never managed to attack us with weapons they didn't have. In return, we've been responsible for breeding legions of new terrorists and increasing Iran's stature and significance in the region. Draining off resources from Afghanistan has meant that country also remains in a quagmire.

If Bush is secretly in the pay of the Iranians or the Chinese, then he's a genius. Otherwise, his purpose in history is to make us long for a President with the stature of Warren G. Harding.
 

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Texas and daggie,

Yeah, things are going so bad for us in the middle east that the Democratically controlled Congress just gave in on both the FISA issue and the funding of both Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 12 months.

By all means, keep bringing up the issues that the Dems are desparately trying to take off the table. In fact, can you bring it up in every thread?
 

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Jason, you are trying to make this a party issue. I have no loyalties to any party. I’m just stating the fact that we are spending a lot of money. That's a fact. Both parties are guilty for short-term decision making. I’m convinced that our government is not able to make significant change without disaster. There are just too many compromises to be made until the solution is beyond obvious.

Let's not let this discussion degrade to silly political posturing. Our energy problem is a bipartisan problem. The Republicans don't have to have oil and nuclear as their best solution and Democrats don't have to have alternatives and first generation biofuels as their best solution. Every one needs to open up their minds and tell their elected officials to start working on a serious energy plan. A plan that looks 100 years or more into the future of this country. A renewable and sustainable plan that is drawn up by our country's greatest minds.

This energy plan will have to deal with many issues not just technological. We have to look at how it will affect the petrol dollar, how it will deal with our huge foreign debt, how are we going to keep things going and how we are going to change from a growth driven economy to one were our strength is determined by our resources and financial positions, not on the use of non-renewables and enormous debt. These are huge changes and until we figure out how to get our energy house in order we cannot move forward. It is job one. It is bipartisan job one.

I have a pretty good idea of how it’s going to go down. Since we are in denial there are many stages of pain coming. Can we agree to keep the petty political crap to a minimum? I know it's fun and the real issue is daunting but it has to be done. Like getting out there and shoveling the driveway after a snowstorm. We can blame, gripe and complain all we want. We can hope for warm spell to melt the snow or kind neighbors to come over and shovel it for us. Perhaps we should just put on our warm clothes and get to work... Together.
 

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Texas and daggie,

Yeah, things are going so bad for us in the middle east that the Democratically controlled Congress just gave in on both the FISA issue and the funding of both Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 12 months.

By all means, keep bringing up the issues that the Dems are desparately trying to take off the table. In fact, can you bring it up in every thread?
Bush and the Republican-controlled Congresses of '01-'07 have managed to push us into a no-win situation. I don't blame the Democrats for caving - there are no good solutions. Bush has proven that it is possible to screw up a foreign policy so badly in 4 years that it will take generations to dig ourselves out of the pile of international animosity that he's brought down on us.

We have over three thousand body bags, perhaps another twelve thousand so seriouslly wounded that they'll never fully recover and nothing useful to show for it.

My advice to Obama is to throw the election and let the Republicans stew in their own juice.
 

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vapor

Anyway, back to the topic - Nanosolar now has high volume production equipment that is making product that will compete well. Not vapor but the real deal backed by great funding. Let's keep things rolling.
Production equipment may not be vapor, but panels with 14% efficiency at $1/W are vapor, because you can't buy one. I hope we can some day. I actually hope more for these at $1/W:

http://www.sunrgi.com/

They would take up so much less space.

All that said, panel prices are only about 50% of the cost of a solar system, so cheap panels won't change things as much as one would hope.
 

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Production equipment may not be vapor, but panels with 14% efficiency at $1/W are vapor, because you can't buy one. I hope we can some day. I actually hope more for these at $1/W:

http://www.sunrgi.com/

They would take up so much less space.

All that said, panel prices are only about 50% of the cost of a solar system, so cheap panels won't change things as much as one would hope.

No. Vapor is when a product does not exist. Just because you can't buy one doesn't mean other's are not receiving them. Like any new product where demand outstrips supply the price rises so there is balance. Just like oil today.

There is no problem with space. It would take less than 10% of New Mexico to generate all the energy we use in the US using Nanosolar technology. It all comes down to how much it costs for the final kWh. Remember, the 50% cost you are referring to is the cost for the controls, power cleaning, substation connection, etc. Every power plant needs this. At $1/W of panel manufacturing cost solar is competitive with other sources. However, the costs of running non-renewables is far higher than current market prices. We the taxpayer are subsidizing these costs including: Risks to our economy when supply drops without warning (like the damage oil is doing to us now), environmental costs (clean up, long-term risks of dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere), health costs (health related costs due to said pollution), military costs (bases around the world needed to secure our supply), infrastructure costs (roads, equipment, etc.).

Thus, no vapor - just supply has to catch up - full production lines are in operation probably running 3 shifts a day. Solar will be competitive with other energy sources once supply catches up with demand.
 

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Show me the data

Texas and Jason. If you go to the solarbuzz website and look at the cost/kWh, much of the cost is not in the panels, so even if the panels are $1/W (which they aren't and we don't know when or even if they will be), solar is going to still be expensive compared to nuclear, wind, and coal. You still need big inverters even if you only need to go to a few kV at the municipal level.

Size does matter for two reasons. First, it matters to me because if I want to put up solar panels I don't have enough unshaded area to make 14% efficient panels make sense. Second, if you want to cover 10% of New Mexico in solar panels, you need to have structures and wiring to support those panels. Higher efficiency will reduce the non-panel costs related to a solar installation.

If there is no independent testing of panels and pricing published, it's still vapor. I know NREL tested research samples at a record 14% efficiency, but those aren't production panels.

Two points are still true. You can't buy panels at $1/W, they are $4/W. Even if you could, solar would still be more expensive than coal, nuclear, wind by at least a factor of 2, more if you include storage costs. Texas, please refer people to our previous discussion on pumped hydro instead of starting that conversation again.
 
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