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Solar Panel Cost Could be Reduced by 40%

A company named 1366tech has devised a way of manufacturing solar panels that could reduce their cost by forty percent, it has been reported.

Typically solar panels are created by cutting large sheets of silicon into small wafers. This process wastes nearly half of the silicon. 1366tech uses a different approach, making their silicon wafers at directly at the the small size used in solar panels (6 inches by 6 inches), and thereby eliminating excess silicon.

Their technique however, has not yet been commercialized, meaning it has not yet been proven in the marketplace, where it needs to happen to be a real-world breakthrough. Still, their work is very promising. They also have made some changes to the wafers themselves which they say have increased their electricity generating capacity.

The company received federal funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency.  This federal agency works with the private sector to create alternative energy solutions for the country. They have been attempting to facilitate new technologies by providing grants to companies working to create cleaner energy sources. 1366 received four million dollars from ARPA, a program authorized legally by President Bush in 1997, but not fully funded by Congress until 2008.

Frank Van Mierlo, the president of 1366 said their lower cost method of producing solar panels will make their cost to consumers lower than that of  coal. “Early indications show this could be one of our great success stories,” said David Danielson, an ARPA program director. (Source: NewYorkTimes.com)

1366tech is located in Lexington, Massachusetts. They have just raised about twenty million dollars in capital. They plan to start making their direct  solar wafers in 2012.

Image Credit: Inhabit.com

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37 comments

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8:30AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Good News!

9:37AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Thank you very much for the interesing article

11:05AM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Great article,very interesting. I have actually looked into this and have also found that you can actually build your own solar cell panels for a fraction of the cost that it would cost you to buy retail, we just have to put a little work into it but the savings are well worth it.

10:14PM PST on Feb 11, 2011

Some interesting news.

3:19PM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Your video came through so poorly it was not understandable. Surely you can record in a quiet place away from street noise.
It looked like it was recorded on a cheap hand held cell fone.
It was worth doing well

3:19AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

will share

2:07AM PST on Nov 9, 2010

Good to know. Thanks.

8:02AM PST on Nov 7, 2010

Very good news indeed! I wish the media paid some more attention to green news :)

2:24PM PDT on Nov 6, 2010

Thank you !

2:43PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

cool lets go with it

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