Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New Coating For Solar Panels
This could be big, if it reduces the amount of time it takes to "pay back" a solar panel.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A new type of reflective coating can make solar panels far more efficient, soaking up nearly all available sunlight from nearly any angle, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Current solar panels -- which convert energy from the sun into electricity -- absorb only about two-thirds of available sunlight.

But surfaces treated with a coating developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, can harvest 96.2 percent of sunlight.

By pay back, I mean the amount of time it takes a solar panel to create an amount of electricity equal to the price of the panel based on your local utility's electrical rate. Essentially when buying a solar panel you are buying your electricity up front before you use it. Any electricity created after the pay back period is free!

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