Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Solar breakthrough: households can power grid

Australia's future energy may be secured by a grid of good, old fashioned, trusty nuclear. Nuclear families, that is, and the roofs over their heads linked into a giant electranet, if the following breakthrough in photovoltaic cells holds true to its market promise.
clipped from www.theage.com.au
Researchers at the University of New South Wales ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence have developed a means of increasing the cell's light-trapping ability by up to 50 per cent.
Such improvement to an electric solar system could power an average house with panels covering 10 square metres.
"Overall, our new solar cells increase power generated by 30 per cent," said Dr Kylie Catchpole, co-author of the study.

Prices for an installed solar system for an average house could fall 25 per cent from $20,000 to $15,000 once the technology filters through, the researchers say.

There are only 30,000 Australian households - out of eight million - which have solar panels for electricity.

If this solar system is used with a solar heating system for water and cooking, the excess power generated can be sent back to the power grid.


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