SUNRGI's "concentrated photovoltaic" system relies on lenses to magnify sunlight 2,000 times, letting it produce as much electricity as standard panels with a far smaller system.I am highly skeptical that they can hit 7¢ a kWh by 2009, but I will keep my fingers crossed.
Under its plans, which experts call promising but highly ambitious, SUNRGI would initially target utilities and large industrial and commercial customers. The company — founded by veterans of computer, digital design, aerospace and solar industries — would market to homes within three years.
Executives of the year-old company say they'll start producing solar panels by mid-2009 that will generate electricity for about 7 cents a kilowatt hour, including installation.
Solar panels generate electricity when photons in sunlight knock loose electrons in silicon or another semiconductor. Other concentrated photovoltaic makers magnify sunlight about 500 times. SUNRGI says it can multiply that by four because it has a system to instantly cool its germanium-based semiconductor from 3,300 degrees to 20 degrees above ambient temperature. High temperatures can melt a solar cell.
Also pushing down costs are a highly efficient semiconductor that converts 37% of the sunlight to electricity, more than double the industry average.
via USA Today and Earth2Tech