[ExI] [tt] Smaller, cheaper, faster: Does Moore's law apply to solar cells?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Mar 22 16:35:45 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM, spike  wrote:
> I did get an encouraging note this week.  Around newer residential
> developments in California, many homeowners associations were disallowing
> solar power and water heating on any street-facing roof area.  I heard that
> several of them are leading a trend to eliminate those restrictions.  I am
> not in a homeowners association, but I found it encouraging.  Between PV,
> solar water heating and more efficient home electronics, I see promise there
> of having roofs everywhere with power generation.  It will not be cheap, but
> we can get it done eventually.

Does this news item cheer you up a bit?


Chicago's Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, was the world's
tallest building from 1974 to 1998 and remains the tallest building in
the U.S. to this day. Its 1451-foot (442 m) height adds up to enough
window area to keep a window washer busy for life, or space for enough
solar panels to be comparable to a 10 acre solar power plant. As part
of a pilot project, the south facing windows of the 56th floor of the
Willis Tower will be replaced with Pythagoras Solar's transparent
solar windows which cut down on heat gain – and therefore cooling
costs – as well as harnessing energy from the sun.

While the image that comes to mind when one thinks of solar power
plants is probably one of rows upon rows of panels covering large
areas of desert, replacing the windows of skyscrapers with solar
windows gives cities with limited free space the opportunity to create
vertical solar power plants. Pythagorus Solar's solar windows, which
the company calls photovoltaic glass units (PGUs), are rectangular
box-shaped units that allow diffused light to pass through, but use a
prism to reflect sunlight down onto a horizontal PV cell along the
bottom of the unit to generate the same amount of energy as standard
rooftop-mounted solar cells.


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