In the Toronto Star, Tyler Hamilton takes a close look at a cool new company, Morgan Solar, which has developed a potentially revolutionary form of "concentrating photovoltaic" solar technology. It’s intended to be simple and cheap enough to make solar ubiquitous, particularly for the developing world. Here’s the nut:
Morgan Solar has come up with a completely different approach that relies on what it calls a light-guided solar optic. Basically, pieces of acrylic or glass are designed to capture sunlight as it hits a triangular surface less than a centimetre thick. Once inside the material, the sunlight is trapped and corralled through a bottom layer to one corner, where a tiny sliver of solar cell is positioned to absorb the barrage of concentrated light.
The triangles are packaged together to form a square about the size of a Compact Disc case and dozens of these squares make up a single panel.
“It’s bloody amazing,” says William Masek, president and chief technology officer of Brockville-based Upper Canada Solar Generation Ltd., which has plans to build 50 megawatts of solar farms in Ontario. In the next few weeks he will begin field-testing Morgan Solar’s prototypes. “They probably have the most breakthrough solar technology announced in a long time.”
Read the whole story — it’s inspiring. See also the follow-up on Hamilton’s blog. (If you aren’t reading his blog, you’re missing out on nuts and bolts clean energy developments.)